Singapore Defends Foreign Labor as Opposition Seeks Limits



Kwan Wei Kevin Tan, Philip Heijmans | Bloomberg

Top Singapore ministers defended the government’s free trade agreements and openness to foreign professionals amid criticism from political opponents that increased job competition — particularly from India — has made it harder for locals to find work.

Free trade agreements are a keystone for the economy and responsible for creating hundreds of thousands of jobs, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said in an address in parliament on Tuesday. Speaking in his capacity as a former trade negotiator, Ong further reiterated the need to maintain a balance of foreign workers in Singapore even as the opposition has called for measures that favor citizens.

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