Singapore is pursuing more foreign tech talent as it ramps up efforts to grow the sector. The Asian city-state is already home to the regional offices of hundreds of tech companies like Facebook and Google, a cluster it hopes to grow into a global tech hub and make the “linchpin” of its future economy. “Demand for tech talent is far outstripping the local supply… We need to complement our local pipeline with skilled workers from all around the world,” Trade Minister Chan Chun Sing told parliament.

Foreign labor has long been a socially sensitive topic in Singapore, which is due to hold an election in the next 18 months. It was seen as one of the biggest issues for voters in the ruling party’s worst election result in 2011.

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