A Bigger Singapore?
A Monumental Population Policy Shift?
On September 3, the Singapore government announced measures to broaden immigration criteria, so as to boost its population. The key criteria shift appears to be on academic qualifications and social integration. The previous emphasis on tertiary or professional qualifications is now balanced by essential/appropriate job skills needed by the Singapore economy, as well as the ability of the immigrants and their families to integrate successfully into Singapore's society. Prior to the shift, Singapore had always preferred to take in well educated (or wealthy, in some cases)
foreigners, so as to enlarge its pool of highly skilled labour.
The announced new measures do not seem to be drastic at first glance. However, we believe Singapore can leverage a much bigger population to help it 'sharpen' its three-pronged economic strategy. While we are not privy to any policy insight, we believe it is quite possible that the country will contemplate a monumental shift in its population policy - one that would substantially increase its population from the present 4 million to perhaps 6 to 8 million over the long term.
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Demographic and Labor Force Snapshots