Man is an animal suspended in webs of significance that he himself has spun...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Singapore Dreams - Prime Minister Lee Welcomes Foreign Talent

Every migration story is a leap into the dark.  The only way to know for sure that a country or region is a good place to live and work is to pack up and go.

This does not mean however that a global migrant can't do a bit of due diligence before selling the house and car and buying that plane ticket.  The very best source of information is fellow diasporans already sur place.  There is a lot of advice and guidance to be had just by contacting local groups and organizations who are usually more than happy to explain what they think of the host country and to point you to resources that can help.

The Flophouse is blessed with access to not just one but two diasporas (French and American) so when we started looking into Singapore as a possible destination we tapped into those communities for advice.

Almost every person we contacted said, "See the 2010 talk by Prime Minister Lee."  We did and wow were we impressed. Lee's message is clear and welcoming to foreign talent (within certain limits which he very clearly spells out to his audience).  Easy to see why many people consider Lee to be one of the most canny and intelligent (if not downright brillant) world leaders of our time.

The other day I went to see a talk by a Canadian academic and economist on the current economic challenges facing the world today.  Demographics figured prominently in his lecture and when he was asked what role immigration had to play in his recommendations for Canadian leaders, he said that Canada had to be careful because immigration should not become a "competition" among nation-states. In his otherwise excellent talk this comment struck a rather offkey note. The "competition", sir, is already here and your country is right smack in the middle of it with its very interesting selective immigration policies.  Given that there are many other players in the market for global talent (EU and its member-states, US, Australia and others) I'd say that the competition is already here and it is fierce.

A country with a clear vision, a warm welcome, and efficient and transparent immigration procedures is one that, I think, stands a good chance of winning.  Here is Lee's talk and I'll let you watch and decide for yourselves if his strategy is a good one.



The entire talk comes in 6 parts.  To see the rest just click on the link in the frame or go to Youtube and search for "lee on foreign talent 2010."

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