A most convenient flag : the development of the Singapore ship registry, 1969-82
MetadataShow full item record
- Reports (SNF) 
The aim of this report is to trace the development of the Singapore Ship Registry, from the introduction of open registry in 1969 until the tightening of registration requirements from the late 1970s. The extraordinary growth of the Singapore merchant marine is analysed in the light of the policies of the Singapore government. In many respects, the opening of the registry mirrors the Singapore economic policies in general, as it facilitated the growth of domestic employment and production, without necessitating large domestic investments. The shift in the shipping policy in the late 1960s was motivated by the wish to save foreign exchange, create employment opportunities and exert greater control over the country’s foreign trade. However, the opening of the registry for shipowners of all nations should also been seen in relation to the desire to promote Singapore as a maritime centre. Certain characteristics of the Singapore fleet and the pragmatism of the authorities in establishing and disbanding the open registry distinguish the Singapore registry from some of the other important Flags of Convenience. The opening of the registry in the late 1960s, motivated by the stigma associated with being a Flag of Convenience, represents one important shift in the Singapore shipping policy. When the open registry had reached its sell-by date, and the initial problems had been alleviated, the authorities’ strategies were reversed. The shift towards tighter requirements illustrates the pragmatism with which the Singapore authorities have changed their shipping policy.