Government not reducing foreign manpower, but allowing an increase at a slower rate

Second Minister for Trade and Industry S Iswaran said that the government is not reducing foreign manpower.

Instead, it is allowing it to grow, but at a slower pace.

Mr Iswaran explains:

"We are not reducing the stock of manpower. In fact from a flow point of view, we are allowing an increase but at a slower rate. But most importantly, we want to moderate and calibrate the rate of foreign manpower entering into the Singapore economy. Because we want to complement judiciously what we have in our local manpower growth and stock in order to channel it to the most productive areas which will yield the longer term benefits for the Singapore economy."

Mr Iswaran was speaking to reporters after the recording of a tamil Budget Forum at MediaCorp.

He said that the economy here is undergoing a transformation.

And the economy has to move into higher value added areas and achieve greater productivity, says Mr Iswaran:

"Individual businesses will also have to migrate their activities accordingly, in terms of moving to higher value-added activities. Individuals - as workers as managers, will also have to adapt the way we do work, and move in terms of skills enhancement and doing more productive work."