Does the AEC spell open season for skilled workers?


With South-East Asian borders becoming porous, skilled workers sit up and twiddle their fingers. But is it really as good as it sounds?

With the deadline of December 31, 2015 knocking at our door, there are increasing discussions on the form and bearing of the Asean Economic Community (AEC) on labour markets. Citizens in general are concerned not only about more choices of consumer products but also about employment prospects. This is because the AEC envisions Asean as a single market with a production base characterised by free flow of goods, services and investments, as well as freer flow of capital and skilled labour.

AEC’s impact on the region’s employment prospects comes from two channels: first from the structural changes in domestic economies; and second from the AEC’s promotion of free movement of skilled labour through the establishment of Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRAs) of professional services.

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