Asia and the Pacific
Asia and the Pacific
While it has been years since the Association of Southeast Asian Nations signed accords to facilitate the movement of professionals in seven occupations, implementation of these Mutual Recognition Arrangements remains "painfully slow and uneven across countries." This final report in an MPI-Asian Development Bank series explores MRA implementation by sector, and offers recommendations to help achieve the goal of greater skill mobility in Southeast Asia.
Faced with labor shortages in key sectors of the economy, South Korea has moved carefully in recent decades toward accepting greater numbers of workers—albeit in temporary fashion. Its Employment Permit System, launched in 2003, earned international accolades for bringing order and legality to immigration in the country, although several challenges remain to be addressed as this Country Profile explores.
Given diverging demographics, rising educational attainment and wide variation in economic opportunities, countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations are poised to see an expansion of both the demand for and supply of skilled migrants willing and able to move. The convergence of these megatrends represents unique opportunities for human-capital development and brain circulation, as this report explores.
As Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Member States work to facilitate the movement of professionals, the experiences of other countries hold promise for policymakers and licensing bodies in Southeast Asia as they deepen implementation of mutual recognition arrangements (MRAs) that seek to establish a uniform and transparent way of recognizing the qualifications of foreign workers. This report offers key lessons.
Climate-related displacement is not hypothetical: An average of 21.5 million people per year have been displaced since 2008 by natural disasters, and thousands more have fled slow-onset environmental hazards. While migration can serve as a safety valve to adapt to changing conditions, few orderly, legal channels exist for climate migrants (also known as environmental migrants), as this article explores.
Having emerged from a long era of military rule, Myanmar's leaders and many citizens are looking outward. In particular, with Burmese labor migration abroad on the rise, policymakers are examining ways in which to harness remittances as a vehicle for economic development, particularly in impoverished rural areas. This article explores Burmese labor migration flows, financial reforms, and challenges on migration and development.
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Member States have approved Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRAs) in the tourism sector and in six regulated occupations to ease the movement of professionals within the region. This report compares the approaches taken to facilitate mutual recognition of qualifications within the region, the factors that shaped each MRA approach, and their tradeoffs and policy implications.
With many countries in East Asia facing unfavorable demographic shifts in the form of aging populations, low fertility, and shrinking workforces, governments in 2016 continued to explore immigration as a potential policy solution. However, a tradition of cultural homogeneity and wariness among publics about increased immigration is leading policymakers to test the waters with very small steps.