ASEAN Economic Community: what model for labour mobility?1
This paper analyses the labour mobility reforms developed by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in particular for the envisaged 2015 ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).
The Community Blueprint foresees the achievement of a free movement regime for skilled labour, mobility of selected categories of people associated mainly with trade in services and investment. Labour migration policies for other types of
workers are not part of the regional integration framework. The agenda on services trade mobility, institutionalized at the multilateral level by the 1995 WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services under the so-called ‘mode 4’ temporary movement of service providers, has taken shape in other regions of the world as
well. For instance, in North America (NAFTA), Europe (EU), or South America (MERCOSUR), servicesrelated mobility provisions have coupled with other, more comprehensive, regional policies to migration (e.g. free movement of people in the EU, residence and work rights for all citizens of MERCOSUR and associated
countries, etc.). Assessing the current context on labour migration within ASEAN and drawing on mobility models employed by other regional units, the study discusses the prospects for deeper labour market cooperation in Southeast Asia.