Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore Tharman Shanmugaratnam defends their country's Visa regime, by saying that one third of its workforce is "already foriegn" and it would be mindless to have open border without any policy framework.
His statement is siginficant,as many Indian IT companies including TCS, HCL, Wipro, Infosys have presence in Singapore. These companies use that country as a gateway to serve clients in the region. As Singapore taking a conservative view of visa issuance to Indian tech workers, its going to be difficult for companies to maintain the level of manpower there.
Singapore Minister said that their country has been the strongest propents of liberalisation of goods and services but movement of people has to operate within some framework of constraint.
Singapore is concernd because out of 5.5 million population,only 3.5 million are Singaporean citizens, and almost one third of their workforce is already from outside. IT body Nasscom had stated in April that the clamp down on tech visas by Singapore has shrunk the base of Indian techies to under 10,000 in the South East Asian nation.
India and Singapore have implemented a comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA). It has beenoperational since 2005. Singapore is also part of the Asean bloc, with which India has signed a similar pact. Currently both are also part of the ongoing negotiations for a proposed mega deal - Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).