The new measures taken by Singapore to control the influx of foreigners working in Singapore ‘has irked India as the new law does not give India a preferential treatment incorporated in the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CECA) between the two countries, operational since 2005. This stance by the Singapore Government is expected to affect Indians working as middle-level managers, executives and technicians.

Speculation is rife that India might take up the issue with World Trade Organization’s (WTO) dispute settlement body. However, according to Singapore such a decision was imperative in the interest of the natives as the share of the foreign workforce is rising very rapidly.

“… I do not think we have contravened our commitments in the WTO or the CECA. Moreover, this is not specifically targeted to any one country. We remain very open to foreign talent,” a senior Singapore government official told Business Standard…. According to Indian officials involved in the negotiations, this is a violation of the services trade agreement under CECA. This will also adversely affect Indians who are working there as it might lead to job losses, especially for the middle level workers.

India has submitted a request to Singapore for addressing the matter but has not received a formal communication yet.

Currently, there are about 200,000 non-resident Indians in Singapore working in ITES, financial services and scientific research sectors among others, according to one estimate.’ – Business Standard 29 Oct.

Did Singapore sign an agreement with India or any other country that allows that country unlimited entry of its people into the island? Can this really be the case? Imagine a little island of 760 sq km signing such an agreement with countries that have more than a billion people and they can send any number of people they want here? I don’t think Singapore officials are that stupid right? There must be some misunderstanding or misinterpretation of the agreements in this case by India. No silly govt in the world will open their country to any country with no restrictions. It is like inviting an invasion and a takeover of the country.

What is happening? I have faith that our super talents with foresight and great intelligence would not sell out the country blindly with such agreements. How can it be?

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