Analysts too agree we need FTs

In Economy on 29/05/2014 at 4:53 am

So TRE readers and other anti-PAP paper activists, are the analysts mentioned in u/m Bloomberg articles (and the many others who hold these views)  PAPpy moles?

My point is that on the issue of FTs (esp in the manufacturing sector), the govt ‘s pro FT stance has the support of conventional wisdom.

One striking fact is that even among the best performing metropolitan areas, overall increases in output per capita have been hard to come by. They have been limited to a handful of very brainy cities, especially West Coast tech centres. In general, growth has been a product of population increase large enough to offset falling output per person.

That the conventional wisdom may be flawed is another issue though.

But those of us who don’t want FTs by the container or cattle truck load or even by the 747 or A380 cattle class, must recognise that the govt’s view is that of conventional wisdom.


“This manufacturing recovery that we’re all hoping for seems to be sputtering again,” said Chua Hak Bin, a Singapore- based Bank of America Corp. economist who worked at the country’s central bank for six years. “Foreign-worker restrictions will be tightened further in July. We think Singapore may not be able to fully capitalize on a global demand upswing because of these constraints.”

Singapore in February said it will tighten rules for companies hiring foreign workers for a fourth straight year, with the next round of measures scheduled to take effect July 1. Manufacturers including Western Digital Corp. have moved operations to other Southeast Asian nations, as employers on the island grappled with the restrictions that raised costs and helped push unemployment to a five-year low in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Singapore’s exports declined in nine out of 11 months last year, faring worse than neighbors from South Korea to Malaysia. Manufacturing output shrank in the fourth quarter from the previous three months, and has grown at about 60 percent the pace of the services industry in the past two years as companies struggled to expand, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

“The restructuring has diluted our overall competitiveness,” said Irvin Seah, an economist at DBS Group Holdings Ltd. in Singapore. “It’s not just higher labor costs but it’s also the labor crunch, because when you don’t have enough workers, how are you going to meet that order?”

  1. Strawman. It’s not between having foreign workers and NOT having them at all.

    There needs be a balance – no country in the world can import foreign workers by the truckloads such that they account for 40% of the population, except maybe Middle Eastern countries like Dubai. Singapore, with its handsomely paid leaders, should learn how Nordic countries and Switzerland manage without having to import foreign workers, and yet able to achieve economic (non-toxic) growth. We certainly do not pay world class salary to people to follow conventional wisdom.

  2. so, is this problem another chicken and egg question ?

  3. I think you are confusing foreign talent with foreign workers. Nowhere in the Bloomberg article does it mention that Singapore have a foreign talent shortage; the Bloomberg article just states that Singapore is facing a labor squeeze due to a shortfall in foreign workers.

    • Read the PAP ministers and MPs’ speeches and determine for yourself if they themselves are clear on which they are referring to. Heck, they don’t even distinguish between Singaporeans and locals.

  4. High time those obsolete manufacturing factories die off. They don’t really contribute much to s’pore — most of the employed are foreigners, they pay rather low corporate taxes (after all the freebies & tax holidays), most of the money they generate are expatriated overseas. These manufacturing companies are here becoz of 1st world logistics (impt as 99.9% to 100% of the manufactured stuff are for overseas & not for Sinkies), 1st world legal system (impt for their patents, company secrets, pro-business laws, contracts), 1st world stability (thanks to dumbass spur in the ass sheep Sinkies), 1st world security (thanks to Sinkie NS slaves), 3rd world salaries (thanks to legs-open prostitution policy), and out of this world tax incentives (thanks to JTC, EDB, MTI tax breaks, rebates, tax holidays, preferential tax rates, rental rates, land development rates, subsidies, costs co-sharing, etc).

    • Gd point about the logistics angle. With FT labour, these MNCs are having their cake and eat it. Free lunch leh.

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