While US President Donald Trump is often criticized over his stand on IT outsourcing to countries like India and his administration’s norms on H-1B visas, Singapore has quietly blocked visas for Indian IT professionals over the last few months.
According to a TOI report, IT industry body Nasscom’s President R Chandrashekhar has said that since 2016, visas for Indian IT professionals have come down “to a trickle”.
This comes in the backdrop of Indian companies asked to hire local talent in Singapore. Indian IT companies like HCL, Tata Consultancy Services, Cognizant, Wipro, Infosys, and L&T Infotech, all have operational presence in Singapore.
The visas for IT professionals to work in Singapore have dropped, leading the government to put on hold the review of the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) citing violation of the trade pact.
Singapore authorities were reportedly insisting on what is called “economic needs test” (ENT), which requires compliance with certain economic criteria, to deny access to Indian professionals. The move is being criticized as it violates the CECA, as it clearly states that there will be no ENT or quotas on agreed services.
With protectionism stance growing in UK and the US, Indian IT companies such as TCS , Wipro , Cognizant , L&T Infotech and HCL, are relocating some of their operations to other countries in the region.
With this development, Singapore joins the US in looking inwards to hire talent in a bid to ‘bring back jobs’ for its people.
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