Singapore news: Draft Master Plan on land use envisions significant financial sector growth

Singapore recently introduced its Draft Master Plan 2013, discussing “the future uses of Singapore’s land” (via moneyweek.com).

The Draft Master Plan “encompasses the following main points: (a) providing a quality living environment with a variety of housing options, (b) bringing quality jobs closer to home and growing the financial and business hub in the city, (c) expanding green and recreational spaces for all, (d) building an endearing home, (e) enhancing transport connectivity and accessibility, and (f) enlivening public spaces.”

“In practice it means Singapore will become a great place to live and work. The planners will reclaim land for new developments, build 500,000 new homes, and decentralise administration.”

The Singapore Urban Revelopment Authority site has the detailed plan, which was created via an extensive consultation process. Unfortunately its terms of use are highly restrictive and hyperlinks are not permitted without written permission, but it is worth a quick internet search.

The Economy section has as its first strategy sustained growth of the city centre, which means primarily a substantial expansion of the financial district.

Strategies 2 and 3 seek to diversify the economy via commercial and industrial hubs outside of the city centre (perhaps the planners have read about the Finance curse?).

Singapore is ranked 5th on the 2013 Financial Secrecy Index.The accompanying country report notes that Singapore is also “arguably the world’s fastest-growing centre for private wealth management” and that it is “not only a secrecy jurisdiction, offering a variety of secrecy facilities, but also a tax haven, providing numerous tax-avoidance and evasion opportunities”.

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