But Singapore hardly compares to Hong Kong or Shanghai as the fulcrum of thrusting Asian commerce. True, the region’s tycoons like to discreetly park their billions there but if you want a piece of Asia’s real growth, to invest in our backyard’s chunky markets – India, China, Japan and perhaps Indonesia – one goes direct. Or to Hong Kong, a far more attractive proposition given Australia’s trade and foreign investment profile than tiny Singapore. For a city-state constantly fretting about its long-term viability, the Lees need Australian heft more than vice versa.
Extracted from : http://www.smh.com.au/business/avoiding-the-grip-of-singapore-inc-20110406-1d4i8.html
Australia isn’t the first country to discover and rule that an investment by Singapore Inc entities such as Temasek Holdings carries heavy state baggage – a de facto nationalisation by a foreign government, as it was once described in Bangkok by no less a figure as the Thai finance minister, railing against Temasek’s $4 billion purchase of former the PM Thaksin Shinawatra’s media empire.
Singapore Inc treads warily across the Asian region, where economic nationalism is in far healthier bloom than it is in Australia, one of the world’s more open investment regimes. Singaporean investment is welcome in Asia, but only to a point and rarely to control, lest it bump up against the same cosy politico-corporate networks as, well, Singapore, where an Australian proposal to buy the SGX or Singapore Airlines would never happen.