Monday, August 10, 2015

CECA - what are the benefits to outweigh the costs?

Mr. Tan
I heard that Singapore signed a CECA agreement with India and that has resulted in many Indian nationals working in Singapore and have displaced our local PMETs, especially in the IT and banking fields.
What is CECA and how has Singapore benefited from this agreement? I do not see many Singaporeans working in India.

CECA is the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement. Details can be found here.

I also do not know how Singapore benefits from this agreement.

Someone pointed out that the agreement allowed Temasek Holdings and GIC to invest more freely in India. So, the benefit accrues to these wealth funds, but at the expense of Singaporeans who face stronger competition for jobs and an over crowded island.

If this is the case, then the CECA (and other similar agreements) is bad for Singapore. We do not really need to give TH and GIC more market access to make profits, and to pay humongous salaries to their top management. Someone pointed out that TH paid more than $8 billion a year in "administrative expenses". I find this figure to be shocking!

My conclusion - there are many things that are hidden from the public. These issues should be more actively debated in Parliament. We do need a change, and to have more independent minded people to be elected into Parliament.

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