Organised by the OECD Development Centre, the ILO and the European Commission
15 September 2015
Held in Bangkok on 15 September 2015, the Consultation Seminar was the first in-country event in Asia for the EU-funded project “Assessing the Economic Contribution of Labour Migration in Developing Countries”.
The seminar brought together more than 45 policymakers, government officials and experts. During the opening session, statements were made by Mr Nakorn Silpa-Archa, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Labour; Ms Luisa Ragher, Deputy Head of Delegation, European Union Delegation to Thailand; and Mr Maurizio Bussi, Director, ILO DWT for East and South-East Asia and the Pacific.
The project was presented by the project team (Mr Theo Sparreboom and Mr Marcus Böhme), which was followed by presentations and reflections on migration policies, including the perspectives of employers’ and workers’ organizations on current migration issues. The first part of the seminar was moderated by Mr Max Tunon, ILO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific. The afternoon session on research was moderated by Mr Paul Tacon, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
The seminar generated rich discussions on the role of migrant labour in Thailand. The relatively favourable position of the country in terms of economic development has contributed to significant migration flows from neighbouring countries. Labour migration was discussed in the context of rapid demographic change, labour shortages and the dependence of some economic sectors on migrant workers.
Participants agreed on the need for more and more regular data and analysis of the role of migrant workers in Thailand, discussed the availability of existing data, and considered the possibilities to expand databases and potential topics for research.
During the meeting, the OECD Development Center and ILO project team presented the project and discussed with the participants various topics, such as immigration policy framework in Thailand as well as challenges and opportunities for the project.