Lagers traditionally were made in the colder months and stored (lagered) in caves. As lager yeast prefers a colder fermentation and conditioning temperature than ales, why is lager regularly made in hot, tropical climates around the world instead of more temperature tolerant ales, or just imported?
On a tour around the Tiger Brewery in Singapore where the average temperature is 30 deg C, the guide mentioned the brewery started in 1932 and used a "tropical lagering process". The guide wasn't sure of details, and I haven't found details elsewhere on this process.
Is it a simple matter of economics, that it's cheaper to brew lager locally even with climate control than to import, or is there a way to successfully brew lagers at high temperatures?