By Leong Sze Hian
After writing “India-Singapore CECA: 127 professionals can come for up to a year?” (Mar 9), a reader sent me the link to the the paper, India‐Singapore CECA
An Evaluation Submitted to Centre for Civil Society
By Rahul Garg
127 professions + some more?
It states that
“Movement of Natural Persons. This aspect is regarding the liberalization of Mode 4 (the admission of foreign persons and nationals to another country to provide services there), to encourage free movement of
professionals, businessmen and workers across borders. Temporary labor mobility has been given a boost through CECA, even beyond WTO recommendations under GATS (General Agreement on Trade in Services):
Singapore has eased visa restrictions for a list of 127 professionals, covering a broad range of sectors. These professionals have been allowed entry and stay for up to 1 year. This is complemented by the MRAs for professionals that need to be worked out.
Business Visitors can get temporary visa for engaging in business-related activities for up to 2 months, with provision for a further 1 month extension.
Short term Service Suppliers can get entry for up to 90 days to provide a specific service, with provision for a further 90 day extension.
Intra corporate transferees (personnel from businesses operating in both countries) can apply for a visa with validity period up to 2 years, with provision for extensions of up to 3 years at one time for a total term not exceeding 8 years.
The countries have also committed to simplification of procedures and expedited grant of visas. CECA’s chapter on Movement of Natural Persons is a symbol of how it has gone beyond regular trade agreements by promoting cooperation in areas of international economic relations.”
Short term Service Suppliers can come for 90 to 180 days?
So, in addition to the professionals in the 127 occupations who can come to Singapore for up to one year, does it mean that there are also “Short term Service Suppliers (who) can get entry for up to 90 days to provide a specific service, with provision for a further 90 day extension”?
Counted in foreign worker statistics?
Since these are for up to 90 or 180 days, are they counted in any of the normal foreign employment pass categories?
Are they counted in the annual statistics on the increase in foreign workers, employment passes, etc? And what are the implications for Singaporeans?
Unlimited “Intra corporate transferees”?
As to “Intra corporate transferees (personnel from businesses operating in both countries) can apply for a visa with validity period up to 2 years, with provision for extensions of up to 3 years at one time for a total term not exceeding 8 years”, are these subject to the foreign worker Dependency Ratio Ceilings (DRC), S-pass ratio, etc?
In light of the above provisions, how can we effectively implement our recently introduced more stringent qualifications, experience and salary requirements for the issuance of foreign worker passes in Singapore?
Impact on Singaporeans?
Given the implications of the India‐Singapore CECA on jobs and salaries of Singaporeans, how much was debated in Parliament on the impact of this and other Free-Trade Agreements (FTAs) that Singapore has signed with other countries?