Thai­land, Malaysia top des­ti­na­tions for SEA mi­grants

Manila Bulletin - - Business -

Work­ers in South­east Asia are on the move, and they don’t al­ways go far. Thai­land, Malaysia, and Sin­ga­pore, have be­come the re­gion’s mi­gra­tion hubs and are now home to 6.5 mil­lion mi­grants from the As­so­ci­a­tion of South­east Asian Na­tions, the World Bank said. Myan­mar and In­done­sia are the top sources of mi­grants, the Wash­ing­ton-based lender said in a re­port. South­east Asian na­tions have taken steps to re­duce bar­ri­ers to la­bor mo­bil­ity to boost in­te­gra­tion, but most ef­forts have fo­cused on high-skilled work­ers such as doc­tors and en­gi­neers. They ac­count for only about 5 per­cent of em­ploy­ment in the re­gion, the World Bank said, as most mi­grants are low-skilled and of­ten un­doc­u­mented. There is a huge gap in wages in the re­gion. Av­er­age wages in high-in­come Sin­ga­pore are at least five times those of any other Asean coun­try, while a Cam­bo­dian mi­grant can earn three times more by mov­ing for work in Thai­land, the World Bank said.

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