Benefits of Suez Canal to Singapore
Brief history of Singapore
Legend has it that Singapore was discovered by a prince from Asia who sighted a unique animal in Singapore. He took over Singapore and began his rule there. Initially, this country had very few citizens. In fact as at 1819, Singapore was estimated to have a small population of 150 people.
However, British expeditionists happened to pass by this country and they saw its great potential. Even though it was mostly swamp land, it was strategically located in Asia and could easily connect the rest of the Asian countries. This led to the expeditionists negotiating and signing a contract with the Singapore leaders that permitted free trade in the island country.
After the signing of the contract, Singapore became a major merchant center and many traders congregated in the country to exchange their products. Singapore also had access to main water bodies meaning that ships could dock on its ports and this enhanced trade. By 1860s Singapore had a huge population of over 80,000 people mainly comprising Indians, Malays and Chinese amongst other Asian groups.
Impact of the Suez Canal on Singapore
When the Suez Canal was opened in the late 1860s, Singapore was a major trade center. By 1837, the island had become the main trading center for Asia. Its access to the straits meant that it was the most accessible as compared to the other Asian countries. The Suez Canal only increased the importance of Singapore as a trading center.
Benefits of the Suez Canal to Singapore
There are many benefits that the Suez Canal has brought to Singapore. The following are some of the major things that Singapore gained from this waterway:
- Directly linked the East to the West. The opening of the Suez Canal reduced the distance between Europe and Asia. This made Singapore easily accessible to the European countries. The vessels from Europe and Singapore could easily travel for days and reach desired destinations. Through the Suez Canal, Europe was directly linked to Asia and this was very important for business between the two continents.
- Enhanced trade between the East and West. The trade in coal, oil and other products increased with the opening of the Suez Canal. Oils and other trade products could travel faster from Singapore which was the headquarters for trade in Asia to Europe. This was unlike in the past when the boats and ships had to travel through the Cape of Good Hope in Africa before getting to Europe. The reduction in distance reduced the expenses of transporting goods and oil. This ultimately led to an increase in trade between Asia and Europe.
- Led to the expansion of Singapore. Every Asian country looked to Singapore for trade matters. This made Singapore an important destination. The island thus expanded and many people migrated and became citizens there. In addition, the island was built and developed and Singapore cities were bustling with traders after the Suez Canal was constructed.
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