KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 9 — Workers in South-east 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 South-east Asian Nations (Asean), the World Bank said. Myanmar and Indonesia are the top sources of migrants, the Washington-based lender said in a report today.
South-east Asian nations have taken steps to reduce barriers to labour mobility to boost integration, but most efforts have focused on high-skilled workers such as doctors and engineers. They account for only about 5 per cent 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. — Bloomberg