Saturday, December 12, 2009

Shanmugam: Foreign talent vital to success


Singaporeans leh... not vital to success meh...
pay millions for FTs to lean English... Singaporeans leh...
pay money to welcome FTs... Singaporeans leh...

'Our immigration policies must ensure that Singapore and Singaporeans
benefit.' -- so what are the plans...

shanmugam: Foreign talent vital to success

STAYING open to talent inflow is vital to Singapore's continued
success, Law Minister K Shanmugam said at the Harvard Club of
Singapore's annual dinner last night.

'If we are not open to talent, we will quickly lose out
internationally,' he said. 'Businesses invest in Singapore because
they know they will be able to bring in the talent they need.'

He pointed to the financial services sector, which employs several
thousand Singaporeans and many foreigners. 'If we told our financial
institutions they cannot bring in foreign employees, then we put the
jobs of Singaporeans at risk as well,' said Mr Shanmugam, who is also
Second Minister for Home Affairs.

A liberalised legal sector has brought benefits too, he said. Six
qualifying foreign law practice (QFLP) licences were given out last
year to allow foreign firms to practise Singapore law - a move that he
said has led them to expand their practices here, having been given
'buy-in within the Singapore legal scene'.

Seeing these changes, other non-QFLP foreign law firms have invested
more in their Singapore practices too, Mr Shanmugam said.

This opening up has increased the technical quality of and
opportunities for local lawyers, in line with Singapore's aim to be a
'top international legal hub'. The arbitration sector too, has
benefited from talent inflow. 'If Singapore wants to be an
international arbitration centre, we cannot take a parochial
approach,' Mr Shanmugam said.

But while attracting talent is crucial, this system of openness must
not abused, he said. 'Our immigration policies must ensure that
Singapore and Singaporeans benefit.'

Mr Shanmugam made the comments during a wide-ranging speech, in which
he also discussed how the need for good governance could require a
political system specifically designed to deliver that governance

Singapore's need for high quality governance, and therefore an
'activist government', should be seen in the context of its external
challenges of regional security and political instability, and issues
arising from US's and China's growing interests in this region, he

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