Asia’s migrant pool boosting world trade
Policymakers belonging to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) are urged to take a comprehensive approach to efficiently facilitate the movement of “supra talents” across the region.
Based on a study prepared by the Pricewaterhouse Coopers, such a move was deemed critical since these talents or temporary workers who are not actively pursuing permanent migration were found to be a bigger boost to bilateral trade.
Skilled people are said to be on the move in big numbers across Asia-Pacific today. Engineers, shipping channel pilots, nurses and other temporary workers have been helping reduce the informational barriers and other transaction costs related to trade to a greater extent than those who make destination countries their permanent new home, the study said.
Currently, Asia is the world’s biggest exporter and drawer of talent. Almost 30 percent or about 1.6 million people of all migrants who moved to an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) country between 2000 and 2013 were from Asia. During the same period, Asian countries were reported to have also attracted 20 million migrants—more than any other region in the world.
“Apec is in a key position to influence migration patterns and policies. Not only because of the sheer size of Asia’s migrant pool but also because its migration patterns are complex and multi-dimensional,” the study said.
Citing data from the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO), the study noted that of the 9.4 million Filipinos living abroad as of 2013, 4.3 million were known to be on temporary, work-related programs.
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