Skilled Labor Mobility in ASEAN Economic Community

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 6 January 2017

Skilled Labor Mobility in ASEAN Economic Community

General Purpose: To inform the audience about the free flow of skilled labor in the AEC Specific Purpose: To increase the awareness of what the free flow of skilled labor is all about, and how it will affect us as.


Borderless, expose to more job opportunities, an exciting world ahead of us as we are moving towards to the ASEAN Economic Community as a single market. The ASEAN works around three pillars: security, economic integration and socio-cultural integration.

As the 10 member states have committed to accelerate the establishment of the ASEAN community come this 2015, which is in less than three years! Before I conducted my research, my ASEAN literacy was merely 20%, which I admit is poor. But what is even more appalling was the facts I thought I knew were not true. Therefore, I’d like to call for an intervention! It is time that we get aware of the current affairs in our community and reflect upon how it might effect us. Why? Because we are the next generation of Thailand! So what is to be expected come 2015? One of the aspects ASEAN hopes to form is a single market and production base. To realize this ASEAN focuses on 5 core elements :

* Free Trade In Goods
* Free Trade In Services
* Free Flow Of Skilled Labor
* Free Flow Of Investment
* Freer Flow Of Capital

Today I would like to report and share my research; so one can understand the changes within the labor market, particularly the skilled labor mobility or the free low of skilled labor. I thought it would be a relevant topic for all of you to enjoy because soon we will graduate and enter the labor market ourselves; whether you are looking for a job, or looking to hire.

The topics I will be covering are…1) what is skilled labor? 2) The current status of realizing the mobility and finally 3) ending with the impacts

Transition: Without further or do, lets start of with what is skilled labor mobility….


1. Definition 2.1 What does free flow of skilled labor means?

Just because we are educated people doesn’t necessarily mean that we fall under skilled labor. Unless you plan on becoming any of these professionals…. The AEC classified these professions are in the priority sectors.

2.2 What is Skilled labor mobility?
2.3.1 Refers to the temporary employment abroad
2.3.2 What the AEC aims at is for ASEAN members to cooperate and facilitate the movement of natural persons for the skilled professionals that are engaged in the cross border trade and investment related activities. (ASEAN Secretariat, 2012) 2.3.3 However it does not cover the free flow of all types of labor; country specific regulations still apply to protect domestic jobs. E.g. language proficiencies is one of the example of the country specific regulations that still acts as a barrier for the inflow of labor (Yue, 2011) 2.3.4 AEC believes that granting mobility for these priority sectors can act as a catalyst for the overall achievement of ASEAN economic integration

* Higher efficiency & productivity
* ASEAN being able to compete for capital
* Retain the value added economic activities & employment
* Standardization more integrated

Transition: This briefly gives you a clear understanding on the AEC lets see how it could be done

2. The roadmap for 2015

3.3 Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) -is a mechanism to recognize the equivalent certifications and qualifications of different countries in order to be able to set a common understanding of the different schooling that exists in the region (CBMAT- Competency Standard for Tourism in ASEAN States, 2010) -As to date ASEAN has finished developing MRAs for all the careers that were mentioned earlier. 3.4 ASEAN have implemented the MRAs of engineers and architects but the Scorecard for 2008-2011 shows that ASEAN has “fully implemented” the measure on free flow of skilled labor. But yet there are no reports on implementation of MRAs and effectiveness of MRAs from any country (ibid) 3.5 As of 25th of May 2012 there are no public documents concerning the concordance on qualifications and certifications for various occupations.

Therefore the first priority now is the development in MRAs of professional qualifications but because of the complexity of developing these arrangements are very time & resource consuming. Moreover the nations are uncooperative Due to sensitive political issues on reserving the domestic jobs for its nationals. (ASEAN Secretariat, 2012) (Yue, 2011) 3.6 In order to move forward this issue peacefully but with standards ASEAN proposes that the leaders should view the movement as becoming more integrated * Different nations are undergoing some changes to help improve their workers to meet the standards by the MRAs. (University of Thai Chamber of Commerce and Thai Chamber of Commerce, 2012)

* They do so by improving the ASEAN university networks to facilitate the mobility of students as well as staff * -As well as strengthening the research capabilities among the member states such as promoting job skills and job placements also developing the labor market information networks * -Leaders of ASEAN stressed the importance of reducing the development gap between certain countries, namely Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Viet Nam (CLMV) so that come 2015 all countries will be able to move forward in a unified manner and the benefits of ASEAN integration be shared. Development of skilled labor such as human resource projects has been implemented to support those mentioned countries. (ASEAN Secretarist, 2008)

Transition: now that you know what it is, how it could be done, let’s move on to how it would affect us

3. Impacts

4.7 One of the concerns on this agreement is the “brain- drain” effect. Brain drain effect is when talents from a developing country decides to work at a developed country Factors: In order to earn higher compensation & Better quality of working environment / standard of life 4.8 Impacts on the Receiving countries

4.9.5 Obviously benefit from the brains which is known as brain gain effect Removing domestic shortages of labor, strengthening of their economic competencies, higher productivity etc. 4.9.6 Not all countries are welcoming the labor inflow as some are protective over the domestic’s jobs for nationals. All the countries except for Singapore, has some restriction of the inflow of these skilled workers.

4.9 Impacts for ASEAN: Mr. Malvinder Singh, executive chairman of Singapore-based Fortis Healthcare, because he is in the medical industry he commented that the opening of the market for talent should happen now rather than later. He said that the increased competition would lead to cheaper medical bills yet higher quality services. 4.10 Impact for home country:

4.11.7 Joseph Stiglitz an economics professor at Columbia University in New York suggested that this would lead to a shortage of skilled labor in home countries if there were poor human development. (Chaitrong, 2012) 4.11.8 On the contrary, Workers will gain more experience once they return from working aboard. This knowledge than can be shared and develop into a higher standard in their home country During the individuals employment abroad he is able to send back remittances to their home country which will improve their family’s lives (Yue, 2011) (Population Division Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2005) 4.11.9 For employees, who wishes to stay abroad- they can still transfer “technology and knowledge and provide crucial networks for trade and investment” (Population Division Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2005)

In conclusion, AEC is developing plans to help their countries grow by providing more job opportunities. AEC is setting agreements to help provide better quality services, with agreements such as skilled labor mobility and MRA. As mentioned before, skilled labor mobility will allow specific professions the rights to work freely within the ASEAN countries; and MRA will be the agreement that supports by setting a bar for each career. However, they are still flaws on this plan; they are concern about the ‘brain-drain’ effect, which can cause negative impacts such as ‘hollowing-out.’ This will lead to shortage of skilled labor in home countries.

But with MNP starting, these problems will exist no matter what, which leads us to the positive side, which are workers, will gain more experience, learn things differently and excel in their profession. Being able to send back remittances to their home country, which will help their family, and much more. I believe that all the countries that have joined have considered the pros and cons of joining, everyone has something to gain. Therefore we need to know what the regulations are in order for us to prepare ourselves for the upcoming changes. (Chaitrong, 2012)

Works Cited
* ASEAN Secretariat. (2012, march). charting progress toward regional integration. Retrieved january 31, 2012, from ASEAN: * ASEAN Secretarist. (2008, 1). ASEAN . Retrieved 1 30, 2013, from ASEAN: * CBMAT- Competency Standard for Tourism in Asean States. (2010, 4 15). CBMAT. Retrieved 2 1, 2013, from The University of Queensland Austrailia: * Chaitrong, W. (2012, 6


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  • University/College: University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 6 January 2017

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