Saigoneer

Back Stories » Asia » 'Brain Drain' Is Taking Its Toll on ASEAN Workforce and Economy: Study

'Brain Drain' Is Taking Its Toll on ASEAN Workforce and Economy: Study

Highly skilled members of the ASEAN workforce are pursuing more lucrative opportunities outside of their home countries.

Bloomberg reports that a study from February published by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) “shows that the number of immigrants with university degrees who left to work in richer nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) surged 66% in the decade through 2010-2011 to 2.8 million.”

The Philippines is the most prominent example, accounting for more than half of that figure, not including Filipinos working in regions outside the OECD. Between 2011 and 2015, the number of Filipinos who left their home country to work overseas spiked by another 27%.

The term “brain drain,” an expression coined to describe the phenomenon of educated professionals seeking work abroad, gained popularity in the 1960s to describe the mass exodus of British scientists to the United States. In modern usage, it refers to the loss of human capital.

Immigrants from Southeast Asia are more likely to be overqualified for the jobs they take in OECD countries. “Migrants respond to other countries’ higher wages and better working conditions, prospects for professional development and continuous education, and opportunities to work with other skilled persons in talent clusters,” said the ADB study.

The World Bank estimates that remittances to developing countries amounted to US$429 billion in 2016. A staggering US$30 billion of that went to the Philippines, accounting for a tenth of the nation’s GDP.

Despite advances in education, Vietnam’s skilled workers, aggravated by low domestic salaries, are seeking competitive wages not only in western countries, but also in regional neighbors such as Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines.

However, changes in this trend may be near. The World Bank revealed in a recent report that in 2016, remittances to developing countries fell for a second consecutive year. The brief concludes that this is a result of low oil prices and weak economic growth in much of the developed world. That said, it might be the catalyst that drives the foreign workforce back home.


Related Articles:

ASEAN Softens Stance on China's East Sea Actions, Moves Toward Code of Conduct

On the Heels of ASEAN Tariff Reduction, Vietnam Car Imports Double

96% of Vietnamese Self-Identify as Middle Class, Only 50% Are


Related Articles

in Asia

A Gang of Pickpocket Monkeys Has Taken Over a Bali Temple

A temple on Indonesia’s popular island of Bali is currently plagued by a gang of kleptomaniac primates.

in Asia

A Heroes’ Retirement Plan for De-Mining Dogs in Cambodia

An animal rights activist in Phnom Penh plans to open a specialized retirement home for Cambodia’s de-mining dogs.

in Asia

After 24 Years in Operation, English-Language Newspaper Cambodia Daily Closed on September 4

Cambodia's leading English-language newspaper, The Cambodia Daily, closed on September 4 after 24 years in service.

in Asia

After China Bans Plastic Imports, Southeast Asia to Become World's Largest Recycling Plant

With China’s plastic import ban going into effect on January 1, environmental experts worry that Southeast Asian nations will now have to shoulder the bulk of the world's plastic waste.

in Asia

AirAsia Rewards Hoang Xuan Vinh, ASEAN Gold Medalists With Free Flights for Life

It’s a good year to be an Olympic medalist from Southeast Asia, as regional low-cost carrier AirAsia has announced that it will provide “free flights for life” to all local athletes who won a gold med...

in Asia

Asia Suffered $83bn in Damage from Disasters Last Year

In 2016, Asia suffered greater financial losses due to natural and man-made catastrophes than any other region in the world, according to a new report.