09/28/2013, 00.00
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Singapore billion dollar investment to restore it as worlds no1 container port

Surpassed by Shanghai , the city - state wants to get back on top and launches an eight billion dollar project that will bring an increase of 5 % of GDP. From the current 35 million containers per year, it will have a capacity of 65 million. The first phase should be ready by 2022. Along the harbor, the new subway, roads , and links.

Singapore ( AsiaNews / Agencies ) - After being surpassed by Shanghai, since 2010 the number one container port in the world , Singapore has decided to double the capacity of its commercial hub for maritime trade and revitalize its economy . This is what the city-state's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has confirmed, thanks to an investment of eight billion dollars to ensure - as expected - an annual growth of 5%. In fiscal year of 2013, the Executive has allocated the first seven million, which will cover the expense for the removal of the terminal with the aim of freeing a thousand hectares ( in Tuas , in the south -west ) for the development vehicles and infrastructure.

Singapore, one of the Asian Tigers leader for development and innovation, is having to confront the increasingly tight competition of other nations in the region and internal problems , including an ever increasing rate of immigration difficult to manage. The executive aims for the first part of the project to expand the port to be completed by 2022.

Once the work is completed , the deep water port will be able to hold up to 65 million standard size containers per year, instead of the current structure that can not contain more than 35 million.

The maritime industry and shipbuilding accounts for 7% of the gross domestic product ( GDP) in Singapore, thanks to the strategic position that has become over time a crossroads of commerce and navigation between Europe and Asia . Located in the southern peninsula of the Straits of Malacca , the city - state in 2012 recorded nearly 32 million containers , second in the world behind Shanghai. Every year there was a 5.3% increase in the volume of traffic and now the area has almost reached saturation.

Together with the port project , Singapore has given the green light to another billion dollar investment , to create new metro lines able to decongest surface traffic. In addition, the government has set the goal by 2030 to create new roads and bus connections , considering the strategic infrastructure to support economic growth.

Smaller than New York and without natural resources, the city-state's GDP reached S$ 285 billion (US$ 231 billion) in 2010, up by 14.5 per cent, the highest in Asia. However, the country's wealth is not equitably distributed and its economic boom has accentuated disparities among its citizens with its Gini coefficient now standing at 0.48, up from 0.44 in 2000. This measure of inequality ranges from 0 to 1 where 0 represents its lowest point and 1 its highest.



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