Is increasing foreign workers a problem?

We are no longer living in isolation. Our country is a part of an interconnected world. Our job market is also connected to the globe. As a result, foreign employees begin to appear in our country. Their number is growing.

Is it good or bad?

Since there are people who are capable of doing the job, we believe that offices should hire them. Our common sense says this is how it should be. But in our society it is the opposite. Employers are hiring foreign workers. Even after bearing the cost of their accommodation – something they don’t have to pay if they hire locals.

Our solution to this problem is force. In other words, government intervention. (All government actions are force, by asking government involvement, we are asking to use force.) At first when people begin to voice this, I was suspicious, thinking that they are opposing because of some personal gain. So I started to dig. After digging I found no light of personal gain. Instead, they are truly trying to save the country and the people – at least from their point of view.

Opening job market to the world makes it fiercely competitive. It will be difficult to find jobs. Soon people realize the qualifications they have is no longer sufficient to get a job. Hundreds of people apply for a single job, people from Maldives and  from abroad. Since we need a job for our survival, this is a survival of the fittest situation similar to what Darwin proposed to animal kingdom. The most qualified will get the job. After trying hard and we didn’t get a job, we begin to realize our qualifications are not enough. Our skills are not enough. Slowly we begin to develop skills and qualifications. When this happens, the individual become highly qualified, soon he will find himself a CEO. Now imagine the whole population start doing the same. The qualification of the whole population will skyrocket. As a result, progress become the new normal.

This is something anyone will encourage as long as they are not selfish and whoever put their country first. However, people who put forward their own self interest would not prefer it. Because it is an inconvenient for them develop their skills or qualifications. In the mean time they wish a job with a high salary. In an open market, such options are as rare as a white crow. Why people prefer not to improve? Probably because it takes time and effort. They dream about better work but the required effort seems much larger in size. Their advice is always to close the market. It’s way too common in closed markets where someone is employed in our dream job, but hate it everyday. But.. But let’s say we will close the Market. Through force. Let’s examine the outcome.

After government cut the job market from outside world, employers will have the choice of selecting only Maldivians. This drops the labor supply, the result is organizations start to look for other methods to perform their works. An ice cream seller might put a vending machine instead of a person. Other companies can outsource their tasks to neighboring countries and import finished product. This way, the total employment opportunity will decrease in the country. As the number of jobs decrease, again people are left without jobs. Employers will hire only when they have no other choice, only the best people. As a result, those who are less qualified are left without a job, again the choice they have is none other than improving their skills. Therefore by government intervention, it will decrease the number of jobs in the country, and in the long-term people with less qualifications will be left without a job.

So is increasing foreign workers a problem?

Qatar has a local population less than Maldives. 313,000 locals . They have 2.3 million foreign workers. What was the result? Qatar is one of the best countries in the Middle East. Qatar The ruler Amir made the country attractive to foreigners by improving benefits and working conditions. Today Qatar is politically and economically influential in the Middle East.

Another notable country is Singapore, a report released by HSBC ranked Singapore the best country for expats to work.

As countries moving to be more open, after realizing that working together is better than working in isolation, we come to realize which of these two is beneficial to our country. It has become obvious.


General Theory – Keynes