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Title: Wanted: Skilled foreign workers in Thailand
Contributor(s): Numnak, Gorawut (author)
Publication Date: 2005
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Abstract: It has often been suggested that Thailand represents one of the best examples of the modern Asian migration model. In the 1970s there was a stream of Thai professionals who left the country in search of better career opportunities in the West. During the oil boom of 1980s a large number of Thai workers went to work in the Middle East. In the 1990s the trend of cross-border movement shifted to Japan, the East Asian newly-industrialising countries: Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea and Singapore, Brunei and Malaysia. More recently, Thailand has reached a turning point, changing from a labour-sending to a country both sending and receiving migrant labour (Vasuprasat 1994). The last decade of the twentieth century has witnessed a revival of large-scale immigration to Thailand. Ever since the late nineteenth century and after the last influx of Chinese immigrants, Thailand has not again experienced such massive immigration into the country (Chantavanich 1999; Dixon 1999; Manarungsan 1989; Silcock 1967). Recent estimates indicate that at least a million foreign workers currently reside in Thailand, originating mostly from the comparatively less developed neighbouring countries. Within this context, the immigration of foreign labour, especially unskilled labour, has received considerably more attention compared to the movement of skilled migrant workers.This paper, therefore, examines the migration situation in Thailand with a particular focus on foreign skilled migrant workers. A brief overview of Thailand’s current economic conditions is discussed in the first section. In second section, the human resource imbalance in the Thai labour market, which is related to the movement of skilled foreign workers, is analysed. In the third section, the migration patterns and trends of these workers are examined. Finally, the paper reviews Thailand’s immigration policy, its foreign employment and regulations and governance of labour migration.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: RIMA: Review of Indonesian and Malaysian Affairs, 39(2), p. 151-174
Publisher: The Association for the Publication of Indonesian and Malaysia Studies Inc.
Place of Publication: Canberra
ISSN: 0815-7251
Field of Research (FOR): 160303 Migration
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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