Diversity can improve creativity and innovation

Sending our people out to the world to learn how to operate in a global economy is good but we should also talk about how we can continue to attract an adequate number of qualified foreign talents to contribute to our economy and country (Enabling S'poreans to excel amid competition; Nov 29).

There is ample evidence to suggest that diversity, pluralism and multiculturalism can contribute to creativity and innovation.

To attract foreign talent, our authorities have to aggressively tackle undue concerns about foreign talent that may drive growth of xenophobia.

Such issues seem to crop up every now and then, especially on many social media sites.

People need to understand the benefits of having a pool of foreign talent in the workforce. If the right people are effectively integrated into the workforce, it can be a plus.

Contributions of talents from different cultures and countries, and talents who subscribe to different creeds and customs can bring forth radical ideas, leading to radical breakthroughs and results.

The right foreign enterprises, entrepreneurs and investors can help us capitalise on new and emerging products, markets, businesses and opportunities, and add spice and colour to the fabric of society. By leveraging a wider spectrum of local and overseas talents and enterprises, we will be in a stronger position to become a global hub for the new economy.

Patrick Liew Siow Gian (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 01, 2018, with the headline 'Diversity can improve creativity and innovation'. Print Edition | Subscribe