All of us have friends or acquaintances who believe that Singapore is ONLY successful because of “excellent” financial policies and the “genius” of certain politicians.
No, I’m not saying that policy makers shouldn’t be given credit for turning Singapore into a well-oiled, money-making machine. What I am saying is this – Singapore’s success wasn’t just built on a foundation of “good ideas.”
It was also built on the backs of countless foreign construction workers, who built Singapore’s Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system, Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats, and just about anything else that requires steel rebar and concrete.
Now let’s take a look at how being a construction worker in Singapore compares to some industrialized and emerging nations around the globe:
Since 1987, Singapore’s economy has grown by an average of 6.5% per year, which is quite impressive. However, there’s no doubt that the availably of cheap foreign labor played a big part in Singapore’s growth.
As you can see from the graphic above, foreign construction workers in Singapore aren’t exactly well paid. But considering many come from nations that pay ridiculously low wages such as India or Bangladesh, Singapore is still paying close to 300% more than what they’d make at home.
One thing is for sure, working as a construction worker is one of the few jobs that Singaporeans don’t mind foreigners taking – for obvious reasons.
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