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Companies face higher costs as Singapore cuts foreign workers

State wants to improve productivity but weak economic outlook weighs on its plans

Singapore sets foreign worker quotas for each sector to control labor inflow.   © Reuters

SINGAPORE -- The government's plans to cut the ratio of foreign workers in the services sector could hit Singapore's businesses at a time of slowing growth, analysts said.

The government said on Monday it plans to cut the ratio of foreign workers to the total workforce in the services sector by five percentage points to 35% by 2021. It said this was to encourage companies to use new technologies and cut reliance on foreign labor.

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