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The Fourth GMS Economic Corridors Forum (ECF-4)

Towards implementing the New GMS Strategic Framework (2012-2022): Expanding, Widening, and Deepening Economic Corridors in the GMS

Federico Soda, Head, Labour Migration and Human Development International Organization for Migration

Mandalay, Myanmar 28 June 2012

Outline
Current labor migration trends
Issues and challenges

Labour mobility and regional development

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Current trends
Labor migration in GMS is driven by:

Unequal development: economic, social


Existing regional links

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Current trends: Quick Profile

3-5 mil. in the region; more than 60% in Thailand difficult to estimate due to high irregular migration
In 2004: intra GMS migrant flow around 1.5 million; flow towards extra-GMS around 1.8 million Mostly low-skilled (agriculture, fisheries, construction, domestic work); tradesmen from Viet Nam

Limited data makes it difficult to analyze


High levels of irregular migration expensive, difficult

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Current trends: demographic factors


Demographic inequalities More developed: older pop, lower fertility rate, lower pop growth rates & high per capita GDP Less developed: younger pop, higher fertility rates, high pop growth rates & lower per capita GDP Demographics changing and economies develop

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Current trends: economic factors

Source: http://www.unescap.org/tid/ artnet/artnet_app/images/ GDP-Growth.jpg

What can we anticipate?


Ageing populations in Thailand, Southern China and will soon decrease in Vietnam Vietnam is expected to show labor shortage by 2016 Guanxi Zhuang population will decline by 2030; 2040 for Yunnan Next ten years: push and pull factors will lead to increased migration within GMS, with an increase of around 30% In 2021 the migrant stock in GMS is expected to be higher than 5 million Developments in Myanmar

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Social and economic impact


Irregular migration needs to be reduced; it undermines sovereignty, reduces the benefits of migration, distorts labour markets Regular channels are costly and complicated; migrants often prefer to pass through brokers Recruitment practices associated to trafficking especially women and men in the fishing sector

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Issues and challenges


Intra-regional migration to continue to grow Insufficient data to analyze it and formulate policies benefits of labour migration for the region not being maximized Need to better jointly manage labour migration Existing legal channels insufficient (costly, complicated); recruitment to be better regulated and better enforcement Remittances, transfer of skills and knowledge

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Conclusion - Labour mobility and regional development


Recognize that migration is related to market integration and liberalization goods, services, investment and migrant workers Include the social dimensions of migration in the integration process; recognize pros and cons and the rights of migrant workers Include migration into the national regional development agenda Strengthen national and intra-regional collaboration on migration data.

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Conclusion - Labour mobility and regional development

Strengthen registration and identification cards for migrant workers (especially under MOUs with TH) increase number of regular, documented migrant workers. Enhanced protection and enforcement to promote regular migration better integration of migrants Better governance through: pre-departure training, information, standardization of training and skills, access to social services and portability of benefits, remittance transfer channels, productive return

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Thank you fsoda@iom.int

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