Singapore – A global race is underway to attract a small group of highly skilled technology professionals in areas such as artificial intelligence and cybersecurity and "if Singapore sits back and does nothing, we will almost certainly be back," said Commerce and Industry Minister Chan Chen Singh on Monday (September 2nd).
Thailand, China and France are already excited about this talent, he added, noting that France and Thailand have special visa programs to facilitate technological talents in their countries.
Mr Chan set out the reasons for the new Tech @ SG program, which will make it easier for technology companies to hire foreign talent, in response to Labor MP Patrick Tay (West Coast GRC), who asked if
"If Singapore sit back and do nothing, we will almost certainly be abandoned. We only have a small window to build a critical mass of high-end professionals, start-ups and companies, "he said."
"There will be about a few such units worldwide How will we do today, decide if we will make it a technology hub, or not. We need to move now and move fast. "
He also said that Singapore needed to supplement its workforce with these skilled foreign professionals to meet the demand for tech specialists from companies here, and from the government.
Mr Chan warned that Singapore would risk diminishing its 'competitive advantage' if it did not, adding that the presence of workers from other countries would provide opportunities and encourage Singaporeans to come up with new ideas.
"In a world where multi-sectoral, cross-discipline and cross-cultural teams are increasingly common, Singaporeans need to learn how to work with people from all over the world," said Mr Chan. 1
Mr Chan also assured that the government is deeply aware of the fact that foreign talent is an emotionally charged issue," because it affects the jobs and the kind of society in which we want to build Singapore.
He added: "We will never stop putting Singaporeans at the heart of everything we do and will continue to develop every Singaporean to its fullest potential so that they can fulfill their aspirations and seize the opportunities in Singapore and beyond. "