Growth Triangle

Singapore Infopedia

by Nor-Afidah Abd Rahman


The Growth Triangle is a concept of mutual cooperation in economic development among three ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries – Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore – focusing on Singapore, the Riau province in Indonesia and southern Johor in Malaysia.1 The Singapore-Johor-Riau (SIJORI) Growth Triangle2 was first mooted in December 1989 by then First Deputy Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong.3

The objective of the Growth Triangle was to strengthen the regional economic links and to optimise the complementarity between the three adjacent areas.4 The pact combined the Singapore’s management expertise, capital, technology and infrastructure with the abundant labour, land and natural resources of the neighbouring Johor state and Riau province.5

As more Malaysian and Indonesian states joined the grouping, SIJORI was renamed Indonesia-Malaysia-Singapore Growth Triangle (IMS-GT).6 The grouping was formalised with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on 17 December 1994 by representatives of the participating countries: Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Malaysia’s Minister for International Trade and Industry Rafidah Aziz and Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Trade and Industry Hartono.7

Although exclusive to the participating countries, the Growth Triangle was seen to benefit the ASEAN region as a whole, and neither was it intended to block the participating countries from entering into other forms of economic cooperation. The Growth Triangle was considered one vehicle to accelerate the target for achieving free trade in ASEAN by 2003.8


Nor-Afidah Abd Rahman

1. Chan, S. M. (1994, December 18). BG Lee: Growth triangles will benefit Asean region. (1994, December 18). The Straits Times, p. 1; Don’t fear Growth Triangle. (1991, April 24). The New Paper, p. 8; From strength to strength. (1992, April 15). The Business Times, p. 53. Retrieved from NewspaperSG;
2. Chan, S. M. (1994, December 18). BG Lee: Growth triangles will benefit Asean region. (1994, December 18). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
3. The second triangle. (1990, August 25).The New Paper, p. 4; Growth triangle. (1993, July 24). The New Paper, p. 4; Johor to get Growth Triangle details. (1990, July 6). The Straits Times, p. 22. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
4. Experiment that offers the best of both worlds. (1992, April 15). The Business Times, p. 61. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
5. Growth triangle will benefit all three parties, says Muhyiddin. (1990, September 22). The Straits Times, p. 20. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Murray, G., & Perera, A. (1995). Singapore: The global-city state. Kent: China Library, pp. 36–37. (Call no.: RCLOS 959.57 MUR-[HIS])
6. Chan, S. M. (1994, December 18). BG Lee: Growth triangles will benefit Asean region. (1994, December 18). The Straits Times, p. 1; Jacob, P. (1996, March 8). Growth Triangle ‘no guarantee of region's success’. The Straits Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
7. Chan, S. M. (1994, December 18). BG Lee: Growth triangles will benefit Asean region. (1994, December 18). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
8. Chan, S. M. (1994, December 18). BG Lee: Growth triangles will benefit Asean region. (1994, December 18). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.

The information in this article is valid as at 2016 and correct as far as we can ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.


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