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Singapore – Foreign worker numbers to be more tightly controlled

19 August 2013

The reliance of small and medium sized enterprises across Singapore on foreign workers is giving the government cause for concern. In a speech at the Chinese National Day Rally, Prime Minister Lee commented: “The government understands the difficulties which small and medium sized enterprises face and will try its best to help – though foreign worker numbers must still be controlled.”

Mr Lee noted that SMEs relied heavily on foreign labour and that the greatest challenge facing them is sourcing sufficient manpower. He cautioned; however; that not controlling foreign workers number would lead to serious consequences.

In his speech, Mr Lee commented that globalisation and technology will pose greater challenges in future, but at present Singapore is a better place that many European countries and even China, as a direct result of its stable economy and high levels of employment.

Despite its current stability, in a recent survey by Robert Walters, the number of jobs advertised in Singapore fell -21.8% compared with a year ago. Singapore does; however, remain a key economic centre for Southeast Asia. 

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