Home Views Singapore economy

Singapore-Johor economic model stretched by Covid-19

Daniel Moss for Bloomberg
Daniel Moss for Bloomberg10/26/2020 11:38 AM GMT+08  • 11 min read
Singapore-Johor economic model stretched by Covid-19
Is the border between Malaysia and Singapore economically meaningful? Is Johor, in essence, an industrial suburb of Singapore?
Font Resizer
Share to WhatsappShare to FacebookShare to LinkedInMore Share
Scroll to top
Follow us on Facebook and join our Telegram channel for the latest updates.

It’s late afternoon and the century-old bridge joining Singapore and Malaysia should be starting to clog with the evening commute. Viewed from a boat in a narrow sea lane, only a few trucks and the odd car make their way across. The paucity of traffic on one of two road crossings between the countries reflects the toll Covid-19 has taken on their vital economic ties.

Singapore split from Malaysia in 1965 and built a city-state that became a hub for global business. For all of Singapore's attributes, commercial links with its ex-spouse underpin important parts of its success. The southern Malaysian state of Johor is the linchpin of those ties. The border is much more than a small sea lane: water, power, labour and food flow between Singapore and Johor. The eggs I ate for breakfast were probably laid there.

People can earn more money in Singapore, while its rapidly ageing society and dwindling fertility rate have created labour shortages. It's far cheaper to make stuff in Malaysia, but a lot of factories rely on Singapore to reach global markets. Buying property in Johor is more affordable, too. Many of the condominiums that line its shores are owned by Singaporeans.

For more insights on corporate trends...
Sign In or Create an account to access our premium content.
Subscription Entitlements:
Less than $9 per month
Unlimited access to latest and premium articles
3 Simultaneous logins across all devices
Bonus unlimited access to online articles and virtual newspaper on The Edge Malaysia (single login)
Loading next article...
The Edge Singapore
Download The Edge Singapore App
Google playApple store play
Keep updated
Follow our social media
Subscribe to The Edge Singapore
Get credible investing ideas from our in-depth stock analysis, interviews with key executives, corporate movements coverage and their impact on the market.
© 2022 The Edge Publishing Pte Ltd. All rights reserved.