Sunday, August 17, 2008

Foreigners Benefit Singaporeans

PRIME Minister Lee Hsien Loong gave the reassurance that improving the lives of Singaporeans will always remain the Government's key responsibility, even as he sought to restate why foreign workers and talent are needed to keep the economy more vibrant and diversified.

Delivering his National Day Rally speech in Mandarin at the University Cultural Centre on Sunday night, he said without foreign workers, there will not be enough Singapore workers to grow the economy.

Contrary to fears of some Singaporeans and feedback from NTUC that foreign workers are taking away jobs from Singaporeans and depressing wages, he said they have instead helped to enlarge the pie.

The economy has become more vibrant and diversified because of foreign workers. Without their participation, there will not be enough Singapore workers to grow the economy, he said.

PM Lee cited the example of the two upcoming Integrated Resorts (IRs), which will require an additional 20,000 workers.

The IRs will not be able to recruit Singaporeans to fill all these positions, he said.

In fact, they would not have decided to invest here had Singapore required them to recruit only locals, he explained.

In another example, PM Lee said foreign finance specialists will help Singapore to grow its financial centre.

London and New York are global financial centres because they draw talent from all over the world, but Tokyo is in a lower league because it does not have the same draw, he added.

In comparison with Japan, Singapore's English-speaking workforce gives the republic an added advantage.

Foreign workers keep many SMEs in business, by lowering their cost - without them, local workers and SME bosses will also lose their jobs.

PM Lee said Singapore's unemployment rate is only 2.3 per cent, which is considered by economists to be full employment.

Elderly workers have also found it easier to find employment, he added.

SOURCE: AsiaOneNews


Anonymous said...

Most Sinkies don't eat pie.

Anonymous said...

Most Sinkies don't eat pie.