[Excerpt] Increasing migration flows in recent decades have been an important element of economic integration at both the global and regional levels, notably in Asia. The global financial crisis has put a temporary halt to this trend. As Asian economies recover, and looking ahead, many countries in the region are considering how to attract more foreign workers to meet their labor market needs and sustain long-term economic growth and innovation.
As Asian economies take up the challenge of greater reliance on domestic and regional demand in the post-crisis period, migration could help facilitate such demand. Well-managed migration in the Asia-Pacific region holds the promise of many benefits for both receiving and sending countries, but important challenges remain to be addressed in terms of management of legal migration movements and of labor market integration of migrants.
Since 2011, the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI), as part of its thematic priority in capacity building to promote regional integration and international cooperation and inclusive growth, has, together with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), been organizing an annual Roundtable on Labor Migration in Asia. The main theme of the second Roundtable, held in January 2012, was Managing Migration to Support Inclusive and Sustainable Growth. This report summarizes the themes addressed at the Roundtable. Section II highlights the recent trends in migration within and from Asia; Section III addresses the issues of costs of migration and remittances; Section IV assesses how to improve integration through policies for social protection and inclusion; and Section V examines the demographic causes and consequences of Asian migration. The report concludes with a summary of the Roundtable’s findings. It also includes a detailed statistical annex (see Annex 1—comparative tables, and Annex 2—countries and economies).