The island-Republic of Singapore is the smallest state within South-East Asia and, indeed, within a wider East Asia. It also lacks natural resources, except for the human variety in limited numbers, and a harbour in an ideal location for servicing regional trade. And yet, in 1999, for the third year running, the Swiss-based World Economic Forum ranked Singapore first among over fifty leading economies (ahead of Hong Kong and the USA) in its Annual Global Competitiveness Report.1 In its material accomplishments and attendant external recognition, Singapore is exceptional not only within its regional locale but also globally among so-called small states. The point has been well made that ‘Economic success is the main reason for Singapore’s high status and disproportionate influence in international affairs.’2