Singapore does not maintain competition laws but depends on its free and open market to ensure a competitive environment in the domestic economy. For services which the Government has traditionally been the sole provider, the Singapore Government has commenced a programme of corporatization and privatization to subject the provision of such services to competition and market discipline. For example:
(a) corporatization of broadcasting: The Singapore Broadcasting Corporation (SBC), the former national broadcasting agency, was corporatized on 1 October 1994 into a number of successor companies (which compete among themselves), regulated by the Singapore Broadcasting Authority;
(b) privatization of the telecommunications sector: In 1992, the former Telecommunication Authority of Singapore (TAS) was corporatized, and the reconstituted TAS is now the regulatory authority while Singapore Telecom (SingTel) is the public telecommunication licensee.
Although SingTel was originally given a 15-year monopoly on basic telecommunication services ending in the year 2007, Singapore has advanced the expiry of this exclusive right to the year 2000. Competition in the provision of public cellular mobile services will begin from 1997.
Under the WTO negotiations for telecommunication services, Singapore has made broad pro-competitive commitments in the areas of interconnection, competitive safeguards, transparency in regulations and independence of regulators;
(c) Privatization of power and gas: The Singapore Public Utilities Board (PUB) was corporatized in 1 October 1995 with the reconstituted PUB taking the role of the regulator for the privatized gas and electricity industries, and Singapore Power (SP) as the holding company of 2 power generation companies, 1 transmission and distribution company, 1 electricity supply company and 1 gas company. Public listing of SP is expected to take place within the next few years.
Singapore has introduced the Singapore Electricity Pool, an arrangement under which power-generating companies are allowed to compete to sell power to users. By 1999, four independent power producers (IPPs) will be allowed to compete to supply power to industrial users. An additional two IPPs have also submitted applications to compete in the Pool.
The aim of these measures is to introduce competition in electricity generation and supply; and
(d) Singapore plans to corporatize the Port of Singapore Authority (PSA) in 1997. In February 1996, a new Statutory Board, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), was formed to take over the statutory functions of PSA and to regulate the port industry. The corporatized PSA will be a container and conventional cargo terminal operator and marine services provider. PSA will eventually be publicly listed.