tv This Is America With Dennis Wholey WHUT October 16, 2011 6:00pm-6:30pm EDT
>> recently, we travel to the republic of singapore, as small cultural diversity and highly successful city state. in less than 50 years, singapore has transformed itself into the most dynamic and productive countries isoutheast asia. with limited resources but an openness to innovation, the government has helped to make singapore an ideal place to live, work, and play. this is america visits the republic of singapore. made possible by -- the national
education association, the nation's largest advocate for children and public education -- the american federation of teachers, a union of professionals -- the singapore tourism board, there's something for everyone -- singapore airlines, a great way to fly -- husang corporation, forging a higher global standard -- the ctc foundation, afo communications, and the rotondaro family trust. singapore is one of the most important countries in the world
today. it is not only location, location, location, but it is an en ish-speaking country with a infrastructure. on this program, we will find out why support is key to doing business in the region and why asia is so important to america's trade policy. whether you're shopping on orchard road, the fifth avenue of singapore, or you were downtown at lunch time, you cannot help but notice the multinational companies, especially american, which are here. we spoke with michael sake of citi. >> our single most -- our single largest corporation in the asia- pacific. we are the largest employer financial services in singapore. we employ more people here than even the big domestic banks.
we have a collection of businesses. big businesses domestically, corporate banking, private bankerbanking. on top of these domestic businesses, we have regional businesses that serve all of asia. global markets, foreign exchange, and interest-rate derivatives, commodity businesses based here in singapore. we have transaction services for multinational clients. private banking for asia. this is the part of the world generating more millionaires than anywhere else today. they are based in singapore. we also have one of our most important centers of excellence for our technology and our processing. as am sure you understand today, the world is digitizing. our business is digitizing more
quickly than most. dataecting and processing 8 is critical. we serve about 45 countries. it is more than just asia here in singapore. >> you have corporate multinationals, personal banking, banks all over the place, atm fossil of a place -- so it is corporate and personal thisng and then there thiis area. your bank as well. >> yes. -- you are a bank as well. >> yes. financing the corporations and governments who are putting in place the infrastructure that allows the economy to grow, that is what we do in corporate and investment banking.
on the other side, as asia becomes wealthy, there is more wealth to manage. wolf management is the other key strength wars. >> what is next for citi as we head to the finish line in singapore and asia? >> faces the single most important region for a city. -- asia is the single most important region for citi. every region in the world is very important to was, but are positioning in a share reflects its position in the global economy. one of the beliefs is that the center of gravity of the global economy is shifting in this way. it does not mean that the u.s. and europe or less important than ever. but with the growth rates in asia so much higher, the percentage of the global economy
based in nation will rise. the u.s. rose at 3%. asia grows at 6%. this way there is more trade, more derivatives, more economic flows, a greater mass of wealth to manage. our business needs to grow along with that. asia is already important to citi's presence and deeply rooted in our past. >> singapore, a good place to do business? a good place to work? >> singapore is as fine a place to do business as any work in the world. that is not an exaggeration coul. the infrastructure is first world and first class. the policy-makers are forward- looking and they understand business. it has agree livestock, wonderful weather, schools -- they have great lifestyle,
wonderful weather, and schools. if you go back to singapore on the day i was born in the late 1950's, singapore was not even independent in 1958. today, they are a powerhouse. singapore is not an emerging market. it is a financial services center as sophisticated as new york or london. it has the regulatory framework. it has a collection of talent. it has the processing capability and platforms, all of the infrastructure, all of the software to match toto the best financial centers in the world. e-to-toe the best financial centers in the world. it is one more competitor.
that is part of the story of asia. faster economic growth has translated into better quality of life for hundreds of millions of people. and sophistication that is not fully visible to everyone that we use to describe as the west. >> one of the biggest projects in singapore ever, in size, scope, investment, and construction, is to the marina de sainz integrated resort. it is a city within a cd. its presence -- it is a city within a city. its presence leaves a visitor speechless. it is hotel, mall, casino, restaurants, shops, and even a scott parker people come for the weekend and never leave. -- and even a sky park. people come for the weekend and nearly.
>> some of the new leadership that has come into power the last several years has taken the view toward the future, which is something that has been traditionally done. no country does a better job of planning for the future or positioning itself to be competitive. part of the key to singapore's success is to be nimble and recognize that the environment is changing. therefore, singapore needs to change as well. so the sans came to the garment, to singapore back in 2004-20005 with opportunity to open a resort. ands andpened a s macau in 2004. when this location opened up, we fought for that opportunity. unfortunately, -- and, fortunately, we cannot
successful. as you can see, location we add here, all eyes are opponent. we are in the business district, but also situated next to all of the emerging hospitality and infrastructure. given that we have the bay on one side, the view of our property will never be blocked. we think our architect treated something that will last for long time. so we have three hotel towers with a sky park. >> how many people are involved in building from other countries? how did that work out? >> with something that big, we
really had to divide it up to several -- two separate pieces of work. we had 350 construction management people that were part of our team at las vegas sands of that madness to this team of contractors. but we carded up in different- sized pieces. -- we carved it uppe into different-sized pieces. we had 15 or 16,000 laborers on site. tremendous logistical challenges, the site conditions were difficult to dgiven that is
reclaimed land, the marine. we finished the first phase in a little over three years. >> 57 stories? >> the hotel towers are 55 stories. then between the hotel towers, we have a spot and a gym, and we are in the process of designing the third one now. on top of that, you have the sky park. 60 stories inal a 5 the air. you look in one direction and uc the marina bay and the skyline. the sky park is something that is jaw dropping. >> i heard that it was a $5 billion investment. >> we were probably about $5.70
usd. it makes it to the most -- $5.7 billion usd. it makes it the most expensive. >> singapore is clearly built for progress. >> we have a very pragmatic, efficient, and clean government that has tremendous foresight, long term in its planning, excellent vision, able to see things that perhaps many other countries in asia have not been able to see. one of the things they saw was financial services. they set in place the infrastructure to do extremely well. we have the fourth largest in trading exchange in the world. we're one of the largest fund
management centers in asia. we have more than $1 trillion in assets being managed at of singapore. we have the biggest spot in the world. the government has done a lot this was a country with nothing. we had no resources. everything was built and built through sound government policies with the effort that everything would work. >> so that comes together. is the country wired? >> we are in the process of entirely wiring -- fiber optics to every phone and business. today, we are 50% covered. >> the country has relieved a commitment as far as building an incredible infrastructure to support business.
that is why singapore is such an important business of. >> yes. -- an important business hub. >> yes. there's a lot of internet traffic. for many businesses, doing business with the rest of the world and being able to provide services to the rest of the world, it relies on being high- speed connected. >> how about as far as day to day for the average citizen? how does it show what as far as business is concerned? it will become fundamental technology inerasable life and business. the ordinary man on the street, behind every single transmitter receiver, there will be a receiver can so we will have
high speak in activity. even at home, you'll have access to fiber somewhere. so businesses will be more connected to the rest of the world with high-speed data access. luci services going through the internet. -- we see service is going through the internet. >> what would you say of the pillars of the success of the economy? >> trading is very much a part of a core of the economy. over the years, trade may diminish, but we're still able to maintain with transport about a quarter of the economy. we have managed to maintain manufacturing, contributing to another quarter of the economy.
and another quarter is financial services and businesses. 5% would be miscellaneous, for example, health care, education -- >> tourism -- >> information technology. >> do you have any sense of how many multinational companies are based here? >> the numbers vary. the traditional numbers that we have for the multinational companies from the u.s., europe will run into 7000. >> the work force here is very diverse. ,e have citizens, expatriate's people who have immigrated, workers from outside. how does that to jell?
singapore is famous for saying that the people is the natural resource. >> first of all, we tried to allow them to reach their potential, with education. but there is never enough of us. singaporeans are not producing enough. so there is a shortage of workers, a shortage of people. so we opened up our policy to allow foreign talent and foreign workers who can contribute to the economy and contribute to life in singapore to come in and work. that gives us a diverse field of people working and thinking into war. >> you think singapore is a good place to work? >> i think so. the fact that we have so many foreign talent and workers in singapore shows that our open door policy works for us and for them, too. >> right at the top of our
conversation, you alluded to imports and exports and manufacturing specifically. what is manufactured here that is exported abroad? >> we are very small. our manufacturing has to be very focused. so we concentrate on the few sectors -- traditionally, we have been competitive in the electronics sector and the precision engineering sector. that contributes about 10% of their gdp. we have also built of singapore in oil refining. we have downstream specialty chemicals. in the year 2000,is we built of the biomedical sciences sector. we have also been successful, because of our location, to build up ourselves as a transport hub -- engineering,
shipbuilding, maintenance, repair, overhaul of aircraft. so that has been kept alive in our location. of course, we have general manufacturing that caters -- food manufacturing. >> what is the nature of the relationship with the united states? how important is that? >> the u.s. is very important to us. traditionally, the u.s. is our second trading partner to singapore. in the u.s., you made the surprise, we are your 10th largest export market. we're also citizens to your exporters. the u.s. is important to was in terms of investment. -- to us in terms of investment.
there are many familiar u.s. names. >> what is your biggest challenge? >> my biggest challenge is to create good quality jobs for singapore. that means we have to bring in investment because the economy is constantly restructuring. some parts of the economy will become uncompetitive all the time and we have to give it up. so you really need new sectors to be built up, creating new jobs. and we need people to take on these jobs. not just workers who start after school, but also training of existing workers in mid-career as jobs are restructures. that is a constant challenge for us. a person may change jobs four
times or five times or six times in his career. you have to constantly help him make those adjustments to. >> asia, not europe or south america, has now recognized as the no. 1 business target for u.s. companies abroad. we spoke with cynthia owens of the american chamber of commerce in singapore to find out why it is critical to u.s. business and how it works in singapore and asia. >> we have 700 members who are many of the largest american companies that you have heard of. there are also small american companies. we have 4500 members. we represented business in singapore, but also business in the region. so many of our members have regional responsibilities across the asia-pacific. >> give us the range of the businesses and maybe some of the names we might now and some names we might not know. >> all the big companies you heard of -- citibank, american
express, ibm, cisco -- all of the biggest companies you hear about in the united states. but it is also small companies that do a variety of things. there is a company that imports parts from small technology companies in the u.s. to be distributed throughout asia for different technology makers. so it is a whole range as well as people -- and there are many americans who come here to start their own companies. >> how is it to day to day, week to week -- how does it help u.s. companies function throughout the year? >> on a couple of levels -- number one, the government level. a couple of years ago, we helped support, through the free trade agreement with the united states, which has been very helpful to u.s. companies. we also help when there are big regulations could it could do something with tax policy or something on creating more schools so that american
families, when they come here, there is a school to send their children to. >> you mentioned the singapore u.s. that the agreement. the big thing is that people are frightened that jobs will go overseas and it will cost american jobs. opening up the market for the free-trade agreement to sell more goods and make it easier to create more jobs at home because you will sell in a different way abroad -- can you address that a little bit to? >> that has been our experience with free trade agreements. it has increased trade between the two. it is hard with such a small economy to say that we have created so many jobs in europe. >> but it is a market. >> yes. in fact, what we found is that, suddenly, as an american, you can buy things that you could not by before there. most companies are in complete support of the and in the
opening of trade. we are in globalized world could we know that more here than anywhere else. without trade, we will not be part of that. >> special thank you to the staff of the fullerton hotel in singapore and the embassy of singapore in washington. for information about my new book, the chance of a lifetime, an online video for all this is america programs, visit our web
site -- thisisamerica.net on .ha this program is made possible by the national education association, the nation's largest advocate for children and public education. the american federation of teachers, a union of professionals. hunsang corporation, forging a higher global standard. communications, and theunmmiococ rotondaro family trust. rotondaro family trust.