‘ASEAN must improve laws to aid labour mobility’

National 1 minute, 32 seconds


ASEAN member states must amend their laws to help implement the bloc’s Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRAs) aimed at making it easier for certain skilled professionals to work in other ASEAN countries.

Kavi Chongkittavorn, a senior fellow at Chulalongkorn University’s Institute of Security and International Studies in Thailand, was commenting earlier this week in an emailed response to The Brunei Times.

“The ASEAN single community opens new opportunities for all ASEAN citizens to work, travel and take an active part in the integrative process,” said Kavi.

He stressed the need for ASEAN citizens, including Bruneians, to enhance their knowledge of ASEAN by learning about the history and culture of other ASEAN member states, especially those who want to find employment within the regional grouping.

The 10 ASEAN member states officially launched the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in December last year, achieving a milestone in the bloc’s regional economic integration agenda that offers opportunities in the form of a huge market of US$2.6 trillion and over 622 million people.

The MRAs will make it easier for eight skilled professionals - doctors, dentists, nurses, architects, engineers, accountants, surveyors and tourism professionals - to work in other ASEAN countries.

“To facilitate the MRAs on these professionals, certain domestic laws must be amended,” he said, adding that ”ASEAN citizens must be mindful that each member has its own regulations that they have to comply with before the MRAs can be applied.”

He said there currently isn’t much mobility within ASEAN of those working in the eight professions although nurses, architects and engineers seem to be the most mobile right now.

ASEAN is now a single community though in reality, this isn’t the case, as it’s still a work in progress.

“There are new action plans which ASEAN must follow and implement,” he added.

The Brunei Times