I-3. “Study on International Migration to Thailand from Neighboring Countries: What Impact Will Economic Integration Have?” (H25 FY2013)

  • Project Leader : Yagura Kenjiro (Hannan University, Faculty of Economics)
  • Collaborators : Kobayashi Satoru (Kyoto University, Center for Southeast Asian Studies)
  • : Keola Souknilanh (Institute of Developing Economies)
  • : Mizuno Atsuko (Kyushu University, Graduate School of Economics)
  • : Hatsukano Naomi (Institute of Developing Economies, Bangkok Office)
  • : Takeguchi Miku (Kyoto University, Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies)

Outline of Research

The aim of this research is to reveal the interrelation between labor migration to Thailand from neighboring countries (Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar) and industrial and rural development among Thailand’s neighbors. By doing so, this research will enable us to predict how industries and labor markets in continental Southeast Asia will be affected by the facilitation and delivery of cross-border movement of people, goods and capital in this region, which have been promoted through the economic integration of ASEAN as well as development initiatives in the Greater Mekong Subregion. To collect data for this research, we will conduct field survey of business establishments, laborers and rural households in these countries.


To have the solid understanding of the possible effects of economic integration of ASEAN and GMS development initiatives in industries in Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar(hereafter referred to as CLM), we need to take into full account a large flow of labor migration from CLM to Thailand. The migration flows to Thailand would be curbed by industrial development in CLM. The return of CLM’s migrant laborers to their own countries can help industrial development in these countries if those workers have enhanced their knowledge and skills while working in Thailand. On the other hand, labor migration from CLM to Thailand might be further increased because of the escalation of labor shortage due to a declining birthrate in the latter, which might also cause “labor shortages” in CLM and thus discourage industrial development in CLM.

This research aims to reveal the above-mentioned interrelation between labor migration from CLM to Thailand and industrial development in CLM with a view to predict effects of the economic integration of ASEAN the development initiatives of the GMS on CLM’s economy.

The significance of this research is that, apart from providing us with materials to predict the impacts of the economic integration and the GMS’s development initiatives, it will give us hints on how CLM should address labor migration of their people to Thailand.

The office of a recruitment agency for working abroad (Takeo, Cambodia)

Vocational training for foreign workers by a NGO (Bangkok, Thailand)