Excellently : Taylor Swift’s Exclusive Singapore-Only Deal Sparks Diplomatic Tensions In Southeast Asia: Impacts Of ‘Swiftonomics’…

Excellently : Taylor Swift's Exclusive Singapore-Only Deal Sparks Diplomatic Tensions In Southeast Asia: Impacts Of 'Swiftonomics'...

 

When it was revealed that Singapore will host the only regional leg of Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour last year, excitement erupted throughout Southeast Asia. However, tensions appear to be increasing among nearby government officials as fans swarm Singapore for the pop star’s six sold-out gigs beginning this weekend. There are rumors circulating that the authorities in Singapore arranged a deal to keep Swift and her economic superpowers—also known as Swiftonomics—in the city-state.

 

Excellently : Taylor Swift's Exclusive Singapore-Only Deal Sparks Diplomatic Tensions In Southeast Asia: Impacts Of 'Swiftonomics'...
According to local media reports on Wednesday, Philippine lawmaker Joey Salceda urged the Department of Foreign Affairs in the Philippines to pressure the Singaporean counterpart agency for clarification regarding the delicate situation.

“If true, [this] isn’t what good neighbors do,” remarked Salceda. He emphasized that while the grant may have provided a substantial economic uplift for Singapore, “it was at the expense of neighboring countries, which could not attract their own foreign concert goers, and whose fans had to go to Singapore.”

Salceda also pointed out that this action contradicts the foundational principle of consensus-based relations and solidarity upon which ASEAN was established, referring to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which facilitates cooperation in the region.

Speculation about an exclusivity arrangement between Singapore and Taylor Swift first arose when Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin mentioned during a Bangkok business forum on Feb. 16 that he had been informed by Swift’s concert promoter Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) about a purported offer from the Singapore government. Allegedly, Singapore offered up to $3 million to Swift’s team for each show she would perform in Singapore as part of her Eras Tour, in exchange for a promise that she would not perform elsewhere in Southeast Asia during the tour.

Singapore’s tourism and youth authorities confirmed to TIME in a joint statement that the tourism board had “supported the event through a grant” although they did not disclose the amount or any specifics regarding restrictive clauses.

“If I had known this, I would have brought the shows to Thailand,” remarked Srettha at the forum, describing the alleged shrewdness of the Singapore government in brokering an exclusive deal with the organizers, terming them ‘clever’.

It’s no surprise that governments are eager to host Swift in their stadiums. The Grammy-winning singer is renowned for revitalizing local economies wherever she performs. With over 300,000 tickets sold for Swift’s Singapore shows, the concert’s buzz is providing a significant economic boost to the city-state. Tourists flocking in to attend Swift’s performance have driven local hotel and flight prices up by as much as 30%. Experts estimate that Swift’s concerts could generate up to $500 million in tourism revenue, solidifying the city’s reputation as a major events hub.

The youth ministry acknowledged in its statement to TIME that there would be substantial demand from both Singaporeans and fans across the region for Swift to perform in Singapore, and thus worked directly with AEG Presents to make it happen.

While some criticize Singapore’s tactics, others see an opportunity to replicate its success. Indonesia’s tourism minister told Bloomberg earlier this month that they “need ‘Swiftonomics’ for Indonesian tourism” introducing policies to attract more tourists, including a seed fund of up to 2 trillion rupiah (about $127 million) per year to support music, sports, and cultural events.

 

Excellently : Taylor Swift's Exclusive Singapore-Only Deal Sparks Diplomatic Tensions In Southeast Asia: Impacts Of 'Swiftonomics'...
Last week, when questioned if Hong Kong would consider similar arrangements to attract pop concerts and revive the city’s post-pandemic economy, in reference to Swift’s alleged deal in Singapore, the city’s leader John Lee emphasized- “Amid Hong Kong’s fierce competition with other cities that have been striving to improve themselves, we have to be relentless in our efforts to lure mega events including matches, sports events and cultural events.”

Hong Kong recently allocated nearly $2 million in grants to welcome Lionel Messi and his team Inter Miami to the city for a friendly match, although this ended in a PR disaster.