The following is an excerpt from Migration Information Source.
During the boom years, countries in the hunt for talent focused on ways to make it easier for foreign scientists, doctors, and IT specialists to enter and stay. The rationale: we can't afford to lose the next Nobel Prize winner or Google founder to someplace else.
In these lean times, countries still want the talent — key to their long-term competitiveness — but a handful want more assurance they're getting the cream of the cream, as well as skills they don't have already.
Singapore, which avidly pursued talent over the last decade and where one-third of the population is foreign, pulled back in 2010 even as its economy grew rapidly and birth rates remained stubbornly low.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has had a tight line to walk. He still publicly states that immigration is critical to Singapore's future, but he has acknowledged that Singaporeans are worried about competing with foreign workers and foreigners' willingness to integrate.
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