Singapore looks to Expats to boost its population
The Government of Singapore wants to raise the small island nation’s population by as much as 30% by 2030, in an effort to keep the Asian financial centre’s economy dynamic and maintain competition with its rival, Hong Kong.
Singapore’s native population has one of the lowest birth rates in the world meaning that the government is looking to foreigners to give the country the population boom they desire. The city-state is already one of the places with the highest concentration of expats and foreign workers, with them making up 38% of the population. The government has set a target of raising the population to around 6.9 million people, putting it close to Hong Kong’s 7 million.
In anticipation of an influx of foreigners the government has laid out plans to expand the small nation’s infrastructure. It plans to double the size of the island’s railway network and massively increase the capacity for its health service. Three new general hospitals, five community hospitals and two medical centres have all been proposed. To make sure that there will be enough room for housing the government has not renewed the leases for a number of golf courses which will be turned into housing estates.
The Government proposed White paper named; ‘A sustainable Population for a Dynamic Singapore’ states: “It will become increasingly difficult to grow our workforce through our citizen population alone, unless we succeed in reversing the declining fertility trend.”
The plans may however be scuppered by growing unhappiness from the native population who have expressed their concerns over the increase cost for property and increased competition for jobs. At the end of 2012 the ruling People’s Action Party suffered a heavy by-election defeat due to public concerns.
Singapore has a land area of just 714 square kilometres, which is less than half the size of London, and a population of 5.3 million people. The number of Foreigners in the population has shot up from about 25% in 2000.
For potential expats looking for work now is a good time to apply for a move to one of the world’s busiest financial centres. Immigration policy for skilled workers has been relaxed and with the governments desire to attract foreigners you should get a good deal and a successful new life abroad.