Well, now Boeing is copying Rolls Royce, and Texas is knocking off Singapore. Boeing has just announced a new plant in San Antonio, which will employ 450 people, to do what Singapore is doing... repair and refurbish retired jetliners.
How did Singapore "leapfrog" its poverty? In the 1990s, when I was recycling director at Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, I was looking everywhere for evidence of my hunch that refurbishing would reduce our electronics recycling costs, and I found some articles from Singapore's NEA. They said, quite crisply:
- Singapore doesn't have a lot of raw materials for virgin production
- Jobs which utilize intellect and engineering skills create more wealth than mining jobs
- Repair and overhaul (refurbishing) is environmentally sustainable