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The Greatest Country In The World?
I have had the good fortune to travel all over the world. I have also lived in the US, Thailand, Japan, France, and now Singapore. I can say that Singapore truly is one of the greatest countries on the planet. I speak not only as a CEO, but as someone who has personally lived through both poverty and wealth. I have seen a lot in my lifetime, and I am forever indebted to Singapore.
I believe that the Singapore Government is one of the most intelligent and most competent on Earth. COVID-19 is an excellent example of how great Singapore is. It is literally leading the entire world in containment of the virus through process, policy, vigilance, execution, and transparency. The safest country on the planet right now is Singapore. Countries like US, Japan, Korea, and UK are looking to the Little Red Dot for what they can learn to apply in their countries. If I look deeper into why Singapore is so special, I see the brilliant underlying socioeconomic, political, and military strategies and policies of Singapore. The proof is in the pudding. In almost 55 years, Singapore has transformed itself from an island with nothing into a true global economic powerhouse with a bright future. Singapore does not even have fresh water. I am amazed at how an island with no natural resources and no built-in competitive advantages can become one of the wealthiest economies in the world on a GDP per capita basis. The standard of living, the health care system, the education system, the mass transit system, the legal system, etc are all world-class. It also has one of the lowest crime rates in the world. Without a doubt, these incredible results are simply the extraordinary genius of Lee Kuan Yew, the amazing people of Singapore, and the brilliance of the Singapore Government working together in unison. Singapore is literally one of the greatest economic stories in history.
Of course, every country has problems and Singapore has its fair share too. However, its problems are good ones compared to those of poorer countries around the world. An island with no natural resources and no built-in competitive advantages would normally be plagued by mass poverty, disease, illiteracy, corruption, crime, and hunger. Instead, Singapore’s problems are first-world problems akin to those found in the top nations in the world. I am not belittling the problems in Singapore in the least. I have many Singaporean friends and colleagues from all walks of life, and I appreciate and understand their problems. In many cases, I have been in their shoes at different points in my life. The problems are very real in Singapore, but they are good problems to have, especially relative to what could have been. And with the continued right leaders, vision, strategy, and plan, those problems will become minimal over time. I truly believe it.
When I decided to move back to Asia from the US, I considered all of the top cities in Asia (Bangkok, Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo, etc) as options for my home base. I chose Singapore due to its incredible government, its amazingly warm people, its unbelievable food, its awesome tropical weather, etc. Singapore is truly an extraordinary, world-class international metropolis. I will tell you that Singapore is literally the biggest reason why ONE Championship is a billion dollar global phenomenon today and why it is Asia’s largest global sports media property in history. Whether it is my Singaporean teammates at ONE, the international business ecosystem of Singapore, or the Singapore Government itself, I have been the recipient of so many blessings by this great country.
Thank you Singapore for allowing me to live here. My heart is filled with deep love, gratitude, and appreciation for my adopted home. Majulah Singapura! #gratitude
Chatri Sityodtong is a self-made entrepreneur and lifelong martial artist from Thailand. His rags-to-riches life story has inspired millions around the world on BBC News, CNN, Financial Times, Bloomberg TV, CNBC, Channel NewsAsia, and other major media. He is the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of ONE Championship, Asia’s largest global sports media property in history with a global broadcast to over 2.7 billion potential viewers across 150+ countries around the world. He is also the star of the Asian edition of The Apprentice, the award-winning, global reality TV series. Forbes most recently selected Sityodtong as one of Asia’s next generation tycoons. Sityodtong was also named “Asia’s King of Martial Arts” by the Financial Times and the “2nd Most Powerful Person in Sports in Asia” by FOX Sports. He is also an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at INSEAD, Europe’s top business school. Inducted recently into the Black Belt Hall of Fame, Sityodtong is a Kru in Muay Thai and a Purple Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Sityodtong holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Tufts University.