The Economic Costs of Mistrust – Asian Patterns of Success and Failure

The Economic Costs of Mistrust – Asian Patterns of Success and Failure

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Professor Gordon Redding, co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Asian Business Systems, looked at the role that social capital – or trust – plays in societies’ abilities to grow high levels of wealth per capita. He explained that relational trust is that which develops between individuals who come to know each other and build bonds of reciprocal dependence. An example of this is guanxi in Chinese culture.

System trust is that which develops when a society creates stable institutions that people come to rely upon and to believe in, such as honest accounting, good public administration, honest government, reliable information and standards like weights and measures.

When system trust is strong, it supports doing business with people you do not know, by providing reliable information and by underwriting any risk through systems of law that work.

For social capital to grow, it needs to have people with a sense of citizenship, so that they can act in the public interest in either introducing forms of order or sustaining those that exist.

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Mr Ho Swee Huat

Mr Ho Swee Huat is the Founder and Managing Director of Abacus Assets Advisors Pte Ltd. Before starting the company, he had an established career in the banking industry, with 20 years of experience in Singapore, Hong Kong and New York.

He was an Independent Director and Chairman of the Audit Committee of CapitaCommercial Trust Management LTD from 2004 to 2013.

He is the current Chairman of Autism Association (Singapore) which he co-founded with a group of parents in 1992. He is also Vice-Chairman of Eden School, a special school for children with autism.

Mr Ho holds a Master’s degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a Liberal Arts degree in Economics from Hamilton College, USA.

He has been a member of the Board of the Foundation since its incorporation.