In the May 2012 edition of the East Asia and Pacific economic update, I wrote that labor migration across East Asia will require more urgent attention from policy makers very soon given the large labor force declines that some countries will face in the next 40 years.
I was in Dubai last week when the news broke about Qatar's World Cup bid. Qatar winning the vote to host World Cup in 2022 will produce significant increases in migration flows from, and remittance flows to, South Asia, East Asia and East and North Africa.
Qatar employs just short of 1.5 million migrant workers currently. It is the largest host country for migrants in the world: the share of migrants in the population exceeds 85%, for every adult Qatari national, there are 10+ migrant workers (see Factbook, my earlier blog post). Although it does not report data on remittances to the IMF, newspapers quoting Qatar Central Bank reported outward remittances approaching $7 billion in 2010. The sheer increase in the demand for workers for constructing stadiums and developing infrastructure is expected to result in huge migration flows from South Asia, but also from East Asia (the Philippines, but also China). Outward remittances will rise more than proportionately, first because wages will rise, and second, because the authorities will provide greater scrutiny to recruitment practices and working conditions for migrant workers.
|Photo © Simone D. McCourtie / World Bank|
India’s Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation has just released the “Migration in India 2007-08” report (June 2010) based on the 64th round of the National Sample Survey (NSS). This nationally representative survey includes 125,578 households (79,091 households in rural areas and 46,487 households in urban areas) which together have 572,254 individuals. The report has many interesting findings on internal and international migration and remittances in India, which you can read in the press release. I have highlighted a few that I found interesting:
Almost a third of Indians, or over 300 million people, are migrants. 28.5 percent of Indians (some 325 million people, out of a population of 1.14 billion in 2008) are migrants, according to the survey. 35 percent of people in urban areas and 26 percent of people in rural areas have moved from their place of usual residence.However, migration in India is largely confined to within the same state. 72 percent of migrant households in urban areas and 78 percent in rural areas have migrated within the same state.
I recently gave a presentation and participated in a conference organized by the Swedish Presidency of the European Union(EU) on “Labor Migration and its Development Potential in the Age of Mobility"on October 15-16. The conference focused on two main themes: a) Labor immigration, and b) Circular migration and its development potential.
Speakers and participants discussed the importance of improving labor mobility in Europe given demographic changes. New players such as China and India are competing for global talent. The EU should become an attractive market for immigrants if it wants to remain competitive in the coming decades. Within this context mutual recognition of skills and accreditation becomes key for developing countries. (See my previous post)
Chinese President Hu Jintao will visit Mali, Senegal, Tanzania and Mauritius this month to discuss a series of measures to help African countries cushion the impact of the global financial crisis.
A medida que la crisis financiera en el mundo se agudiza algunos países empiezan a tomar medidas en el campo laboral para reducir el número de empleos ofertados a los inmigrantes.
More restrictive immigration policies by developed country governments are being implemented as the financial crisis deepens. For example, the United Kingdom just published a bill which contains some of the following measures:
1) Migrants who are not citizens or permanent residents of the UK will not have access to full services benefits and social housing; and
China's trade, aid and investment linkages with Africa have increased exponentially in the last few years.
Today marks the celebration of the unquestionable contribution and sacrifices that many international migrants make to both destination and origin countries. Migrants work hard, fill jobs that are needed, and send a large portion of their earnings to support their families at home. Despite all of their contributions, native populations’ opinion and the policies developed by their governments continue to be mixed.
In collaboration with the African Development Bank, the World Bank is undertaking a comprehensive study of migration and remittances in Sub-Saharan Africa and destination countries outside Africa. The World Bank Household Survey of Migrants is part of this effort, and will be conducted in 10 countries (Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Ivory Coast, and Uganda).