It is the end of the year and many resources begin this routine of predicting shit for the next year and procure all kinds of "Top" 5, 10, 25, "events", "economies", "militaries" in the world, lists. This one, however, is from September and it was done by the U.S. News and World Report magazine. I am not 100% sure what criteria have been used but here it is:
Even United Kingdom has a claim to its place in this list due to its still significant remaining real expertise in many fields such as aerospace, advanced shipbuilding and in producing Mini Coopers, and being electronics producer is by far not enough for placing Singapore in this list. Can Singapore produce a modern cutting edge submarine? Of course not. But Italy, as an example, can. Granted that Todaro-class is a German Type-212 adapted for Italian Navy. But then again, Italy has Fincantieri, which apart from being Europe's largest shipbuilder, also is the main contractor for US Navy's FFGs.
It will take several large volumes just to list the required expertise and all technologies which go into manufacturing modern warships. But then again, does Singapore have aerospace industry? But then again, do you see France in this list. Yes, yes, this funny country with a city of Toulouse, where they produce those Airbuses. You know, the ones Singapore Airlines loves to buy and fly. Yes, like this A-380, designed and built in Toulouse.
Can Singapore build a nuclear sub, which requires a monstrous volume of technological and engineering expertise? Here is a French one, the Triomphant-class strategic missile submarines which are fully designed and built in France, including their SLBMs M-51 and nuclear reactor.
Well, here is my point--the reason I elaborate on this issue (the list, you know) is because it is getting tiresome to constantly keep everything in the perspective and TO THE SCALE. Singapore simply doesn't have and will never have all required resources to be a truly technological power-house, and it takes an enormous effort to explain to a lay person the economic, scientific and industrial depth the nation has to have in order to be introduced into all kinds of Top-10 or Top-15 lists. It is a completely different game at the top. Can Singapore, or Switzerland build the International Space Station? Can they launch and operate something like GPS or GLONASS--this is as hi-tech as it comes--we know the answer.
It is a tragedy that modern economy and true technological expertise has been trivialized and reduced to merely bean counting of "investment" and stock market, and ignores completely an immense volume of technological expertise which goes into producing space stations, commercial and combat aircraft, ships, automobiles, modern extracting industries and massive machine building complexes. A precise set of expertise which defines those very Top-10s. But, what do I know, right? Meanwhile backward Rooskies started flight tests of another Russian engine, PD-8 and it will get the certificate in 2023 (in Russian).
But this is so non-glamorous, so not iPhonish.