Henley & Partners
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Henley & Partners

Migration and Mobility in Asia-Pacific

Nicole Smolinske, independent specialist consultant on the Asia-Pacific Region

Asia accounts for approximately one third of migrants throughout the world. In 2019, the influx of migration to non-Asian countries and within Asia remained a key trend in the region with an increase in mobility between and among the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Asia’s working-age population is among the largest in the world and, as such, has high levels of mobility, with these individuals able to migrate in search of better economic futures. It is expected that migration policy in the broader region will continue to evolve and adapt as the workforce seeks gainful employment opportunities, and countries implement policies to facilitate economic collaboration and attract talent.

Asia-Pacific is home to two of the three biggest global economies (Japan and China) and is the fastest growing economic region in the world, with a growth rate of 5.7%. To prepare for projected continued growth in 2020, countries will need to begin investing more in technology and adapting the workforce to accommodate and train high-skilled laborers.

Environmental factors are likely to remain another key driver when it comes to migration in this region, with natural disasters, such as earthquakes, typhoons, flooding, and volcanic eruptions, inducing widescale regional displacement.

Asian Development Bank. 2018. Asia Economic Integration Report 2018: Toward Optimal Provision of Regional Public Goods in Asia and the Pacific. October 2018.

International Labour Organization. 2019. Preparing for the future of work: National policy response in ASEAN+6.

International Organization for Migration. 2019. World Migration Report 2020.



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