Competition for foreign talent in Southeast Asia

Faizal Yahya, Arunajeet Kaur

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    With the global decline of fertility levels and the retirement of the 'baby boomer' generation of the 1960s and 1970s, multinational companies are competing the world over for talented human capital. With rapid globalization and the increasing importance of the knowledge-based economy (KBE), governments are competing with each other to attract the best and brightest talents. The competition for talented human capital is occurring not only in developed economies but also in the newly industrializing economies of Southeast Asia. Singapore is experiencing very low fertility levels and is unable to produce a critical mass of talented individuals to propel further growth of its KBE despite massive investments in its education sector. Malaysia has a higher level of fertility and larger pool of graduates, but because of inherent constraints, most of its graduates have not achieved the level of competence required to sustain growth in Malaysia's KBE. The aim of this paper would be to compare the state strategies of both Malaysia and Singapore in their quest to attract foreign talent that would enable both economies to develop into KBEs. The paper will compare and contrast the strategy of recruiting foreign talent in Malaysia and Singapore as well as its economic, political and social impact on local talent. Specifically, the paper will examine the recruitment of foreign talent from India, which is one of the largest global sources of talent outflow.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)20-32
    JournalJournal of the Asia Pacific Economy
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


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