Reflection on the history of Singapore River and Chinese Business

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Singapore River which flows through the central of Singapore has witnessed and experienced the growth of Singapore for hundreds of years. Its strategic location made itself the central of social, political, and commercial life of Singapore in the history. To understand and feel the important role that Singapore River played in Singapore history, I had a walking tour around Singapore river, as well as a visit trip to Asian Civilization Museum to have a look at the ancient appearance of Singapore River.
Walking along the Singapore river, numerous banking and financial towers could be easily observed. As the financial centre in Asia, almost all the big names in financial world have established their presences in Singapore. However, local banking industry was not as successful as it is today in Singapore. Previously, local banks focused on providing services to local people who were mostly illiterate and were not served by the larger foreign banks limited by culture and language barrier. Most importantly, they lent financial support to local business and industries so that these local banks were regarded as the financial driver and laid foundation for the prosperous business development in the area along Singapore River. The mutual support among Chinese business groups and financial bodies in banking industry made them advance together. Today, many local banks, such as United Chinese Bank(UOB), Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation(OCBC) have become the most successful and famous bank in Singapore. The entrepreneurial spirits, cooperation among Chinese communities, great perseverance in the face of difficulty and the strong will to succeed had brought Chinese business in Singapore to such a success today.
In the 19th century, Singapo...

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...ngapore because Chinese people trust people whom they are familiar with, or have some relationship or linkage, ie, “Guanxi”. Leveraging on the huge business network, which had presence across Southeast Asia, different entities in the network were more willing to trust and cooperate with each other to achieve common business goals.
Last but not least, the prosperity of Singapore was built upon the hard work of those people who are unnamed. They were perusing their dreams here by doing the most laborious job, living in the most odious environment, and disappeared in the history quietly. Those coolies seemed the most negligible part compared with those successful businessmen, however, no business could survive without the support of these hard working labours. Those Chinese labours had made the greatest contribution to the development of business along Singapore River.

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