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Singapore's new elite visa will help lure investment, official says

City-state is competing with places such as Hong Kong, Thailand for foreign talent

Singapore's new five-year visa program targeting elite talent will help the city-state lure foreign investment, a senior executive at the government's investment promotion agency said in a recent interview.

This month, Singapore launched the Overseas Networks & Expertise Pass (ONE Pass) as part of a strategy to attract global professionals. It targets highly skilled individuals earning at least 30,000 Singapore dollars ($22,300) per month in various fields, such as finance, technology, academia, sports and the arts. Visa holders are allowed to work for multiple employers, offering more flexibility than other employment passes tied to a specific job.

Speaking with Nikkei Asia last month in Tokyo, Jacqueline Poh, managing director of Singapore's Economic Development Board (EDB), said the new visa program had received "very positive responses" since its announcement last August.

As a small city-state with a population of about 5.6 million, including foreign nationals, Singapore has long relied on overseas professionals to complement its local workforce. Poh said the ONE Pass will help Singapore attract investments from foreign companies, since access to the best and brightest talent is a factor when companies decide where to put down stakes.

"It is a complementary effort because when companies come to Singapore, they always look for the best people," she said.
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