Saturday, 25 February 2012

ADBI Roundtable on Labour Migration in Asia

Here are some of the presentations, papers and videos from the 2nd ADBI-OECD Roundtable on Labour Migration in Asia held in January 2012 in Tokyo.

No surprising data have been presented. My favourite presentation, both in terms of content and design, is Labour Migration: Malaysia as a Receiving Country by L. Ahmad.

Some presentations highlights:
  • Most immigrants in Malaysia come from neighbouring countries (52 % from Indonesia); security with regard to illegal migrants a major concern; 1/3 of the country's 1M emigrants are highly skilled (2010 data); more than 50 % of Malaysia's skilled labour is concentrated in Singapore (Ahmad);
  • Inflows to Australia are dominated by Asian temporary visa holders who manage to stay (Cully);
  • South Asian female migrants to the Gulf likely to increase; around 30 % of all migrants in Bahrein, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are female (Thimothy);
  •  Permanent emigrants from the Philippines still settle mostly in North America; health workers, engineers, architechts and other technicians dominate skilled flows; health workers increasingly in the Middle East and recently in Singapore and Taiwan; 90 % of family emigrants are women - destinations North America and Japan (Orbeta);
  • The intra-Asian brain drain is underexplored (Chaloff );
  • 44 % of migrants from the South go to other countries in the South; 2010 data: migrants from Asia 1.6 % of Asia's population and dispersed; Asia accounts for 62 % of the remittances in the developping world in 2011 (Ratha)
In order to anticipate future mobility, the focus should  be on trends in international trade - e.g. India-UAE and India-Japan trade links - as well as student attraction & retention policies in the Asian En-speaking and high tech countries.

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