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Moving Freely? Labour Mobility in ASEAN

labor mobility asean

This policy brief reviews the level of labour market integration in ASEAN and assesses labour market reforms being undertaken as part of the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) . Key findings:

  • Labour migration is already a reality in ASEAN with millions working in other member states both legally and under irregular conditions.
  • The ambition of the AEC is that it will “transform ASEAN into a region with free movement of goods, services, investment, skilled labour, and freer flow of capital.”
  • In the area of labour mobility ASEAN is falling short of its stated goals calling into question whether there wi ll be effective free movement of high - skilled labour by the end of 2015.
  • Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) are intended to facilitate the movement of professionals by ensuring their qualifications are acknowledged in other ASEAN members. But only a few sectors are currently covered and MRAs do little to overcome other barriers like nationality requirements.
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