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Frances Ruane (ESRI) on the "early globalisers"

On Tuesday 23 January, the Embassy hosted a visit to Singapore by Professor Frances Ruane, Director of the Economic and Social Research Institute of Ireland.

At the invitation of the Economic Society of Singapore, Professor Ruane delivered a public lecture at Singapore Management University (SMU) comparing Ireland’s and Singapore’s economic development over the past fifty years.

She found that, operating in different parts of the world, Singapore and Ireland had adopted similar economic development strategies around 1960.  In contrast to most of their regional neighbours, they built their economies as export platforms supported by direct foreign investment and labour migration, beginning a process of globalisation some 25 years ahead of most other countries.  

Her lecture examined the similarities and differences in these trajectories of economic development, and concluded with the question of how these two countries, approaching the limits of economic growth through globalisation, can continue to develop their economies.  Professor Ruane noted the diverging political systems and social models of today and posited areas in which Singapore and Ireland could continue to learn from one another.

Opening the event for the Economic Society, Dr. David LEE Kuo Chuen, Director of the Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics at SMU, paid warm tribute to the contribution of Irish educators in Singapore, among them Br. Joe McNally, who had been headmaster of Dr. Lee’s alma mater, St. Joseph’s Institution.

Following the lecture, Professor Euston Quah, President of the Economic Society of Singapore (ESS) hosted a dinner for Prof. Ruane and Ambassador Keating with ESS board members to continue the substantive discussion. 

Prof Frances Ruane at Singapore Management University