S’pore’s arts strategy at work in the context of the ESC recommendations of “entrenching ourselves deeper into the Asia markets” and “seizing opportunities”.
“The plans for the FreePort [a free-trade zone dedicated to the storage of high-value art and collectibles, is scheduled to open in May. The high-security facility, which is expected to store at least $3 billion worth of assets when complete, could help attract new wealth management services to the region, like art lending. Christie’s Fine Art Storage Services has leased 40 percent of the first phase of FreePort’s storage space] and Art Stage fair come on top of more conventional efforts by the city to develop a vibrant cultural scene. Since 1989, the government has invested more than 1 billion dollars to create such facilities as the Asian Civilizations Museum, a new National Library and the Esplanade Theaters on the Bay, a large performing arts complex. It is planning a National Art Gallery, whose cost is estimated at 300 million dollars, to present the collection of modern Southeast Asian art that the government has been building for years.”
This “dovetails with the Economic Strategies Committee’s suggestion that the government shift away from the growth-at-all-costs model it has pursued, which resulted in average expansion in gross domestic product of 5 percent annually over the past decade but also led to a sharp increase in the number of low-wage foreign laborers, leading to social tensions.
‘The panel recommended that officials refocus on a productivity-growth model and aim for annual G.D.P. growth of 3 percent to 5 percent over the next decade. Productivity, as measured by G.D.P. per worker, has grown at a rate of 1 percent per year in the past decade, and the committee urged the government to set a target of 2 percent to 3 percent a year over the next 10 years.”