SINGAPORE (Aug 12): This year, Singapore celebrates roughly 720 years since it first emerged as trading centre for the region. It is also 200 years since Raffles re-established Singapore as a regional port, and the 60th anniversary of self-government. The latter enabled Singapore to strike out on its own, eventually emerging as a uniquely successful and independent nation as well as one of the pre-eminent global hubs of commerce and finance.

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