Singapore will undertake new programmes to recruit top international talent, particularly for key industries, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in a speech at the National Day Rally on Sunday.
PM Lee stated that fresh measures to do this will soon be announced by the Ministry of Manpower, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, and other agencies. “We want to make top talent everywhere sit up, pay attention and think seriously about coming to Singapore.”
“We must build a world-class talent pool in Singapore. We do our utmost to develop our own talent, and enable every Singaporean to reach their fullest potential.”
“But when it comes to top talent, we can never have enough. This is an age where talent makes all the difference to a nation’s success. We need to focus on attracting and retaining top talent, in the same way we focus on attracting and retaining investments.”
Even while the country currently has programmes in place to attract and keep top people, particularly in the technology sector, it has to do more, especially in fields with "good potential," according to PM Lee.
“Countries all over the world are making a special effort to court top international talents,” Lee pointed out. A recent initiative by Germany allows skilled foreign professionals to live in the country prior to securing a job, and the United Kingdom offers graduates of 50 of the world's top universities a special visa, including Nanyang Technological University and the National University of Singapore.
Singapore will shine brilliantly as a centre of innovation, entrepreneurship, and prosperity if we can attract the people we want, said PM Lee. “And it will make our own talent want to stay in Singapore, to participate in building a dynamic and outstanding nation,” he said.
He emphasised that the government is making efforts to allay Singaporeans' worries about the impacts of the large number of foreigners who live and work here. The nation must continue to look for top talent while regulating the total population of foreign professionals.
Prime Minister Lee outlined three "enduring imperatives" that Singapore must address as it charts its future, including building a world-class talent pool and strengthening its national identity. Through Forward Singapore, he hopes Singaporeans will gain a deeper understanding of these imperatives.