Migration Governance in the ASEAN Economic Community

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The chapter looks at the progress of ASEAN towards the building of an Economic Community and its possible impact on labor migration. The process of deepening regional integration in ASEAN will undoubtedly create more economic growth but development will still be diverse among its member states. While complete liberalization of labor mobility will not be foreseen in the short and medium term, skilled and unskilled migration will definitely increase as the benefits from trade liberalization of goods and services are reaped by member countries. These benefits plus developments emanating from integration—like better infrastructure and connectivity, visa facilitation and region-wide supply chains—will help induce further migration of all types in the region. Thus, various issues and concerns will continue to hound ASEAN as multi-level approaches to the governance of migration emerge. Multi-level and multi-stakeholder governance initiatives will hopefully translate into policy convergences in the resolution of key migration issues at various levels. The chapter concludes on possible ways to help reach policy convergence.