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Lee Hsien Loong: Singapore Will Not Rein In Foreign Labour Numbers

Go forth and reproduce... since Singaporeans won't.

Go forth and reproduce… since Singaporeans won’t.

Singapore probably won’t need more measures to restrain the inflow of foreign workers as a further tightening could deter overseas companies from setting up business in the city, prime minister Lee Hsien Loong said.

The pace of increase for foreign workers has slowed and the country’s economic restructuring is under way, Lee said in a speech yesterday. A drop in investment by overseas companies may also hurt job opportunities for the city’s citizens, Lee said.

The latest “numbers do show that the foreign worker growth has slowed to a more sustainable level, and is about where we want it to be,” Lee said. “I do not expect any further measures to tighten foreign worker numbers further.”

Singapore’s government has tightened rules to curb the hiring of foreigners in recent years after an influx led to voter discontent over infrastructure strains and increased competition for jobs, property and education. Foreign employment growth was the lowest since the third quarter 2009 in the three months through end of June, the government said in September.

Singapore’s economy unexpectedly expanded an annualised 0.1 per cent in the second quarter as manufacturing declined less than initially estimated amid recoveries in advanced countries, the trade ministry said Aug 12.

“If people think that we are not interested in attracting investments, or that talent is not welcome here, or that we have turned inwards—I think that is the end of us,” Lee said.

This story is courtesy of Bloomberg.
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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. J~A

    August 24, 2015 at 2:18 am

    FTs are important yes, but they should not be competing with locals on jobs that are already in high demand. The government should make sure that FTs can only work in areas where there’s a shortage of local talent, and employers have to pay them the same rate as they pay locals + on top of levies (and FTs have to pay tax since they are taking advantage of our infrastructure and economy and they don’t have to contribute to Singapore’s defense by doing NS/reservice); as it shouldn’t be attractive to hire FTs because of lower wage and not having to go for reservice.

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