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Why Singapore cannot cut down on foreign workers the way other countries have: Chan Chun Sing

May 30, 2020 | 🚀 Fathership
Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing gave this stark number - which works out to around 8 per cent of the 33,000 babies born every year - to show what has to happen if Singapore were to cut down on foreign workers.

Elaborating on this hypothetical scenario during a virtual press conference on Saturday, he sketched a scene in which Singapore has 300,000 foreign construction workers, and where each Singaporean is thrice as productive as a foreign worker.

In theory, this would mean the 300,000 foreign workers could be replaced with 100,000 Singaporeans, who could each be paid thrice as much as a foreign worker.

He said Singapore cannot cut down on foreign workers the way some other countries have because of its small size and lack of natural resources.

Asked whether Singapore could keep some production lines at home - so that they are protected in the event of another pandemic - instead of having them outsourced, Mr Chan said that Singapore cannot shut itself off from globalisation, as it would not be possible for the Republic to survive without trade.