As ASEAN continues to be recognized internationally as the core of Asian regionalism, collaboration with countries outside the ASEAN region has become a major interest. In particular, cooperation with the Plus Three countries – Korea, China and Japan – has been receiving attention from all ASEAN Member States due to the established robust political economic partnerships.
The cooperative relationship between the ASEAN nation and the Plus Three nations was manifested by the stable increase of movement between them. In particular, Korea has been a destination country for many migrants for myriad of reasons such as migration through marriage, labor and education. It is also quite apparent that the ASEAN states are also popular destinations for Koreans in recent decades.
Since the establishment of the dialogue between ASEAN and Korea in 1989, Korea has supported the realization of the ASEAN Community and has conducted various cooperative projects related to development, technology transfer, human resources and development exchange.
However, the increased migration between the ASEAN region and Korea has only been seen as a spin-off of collaboration in the field of political economy. Thus, little effort has been made to use this phenomenon of increased migration as an asset to expand the ASEAN-Korea cooperation initiatives that are geared towards progress and development in education, society, and economy. Moreover, international migration as a global phenomenon can undoubtedly be an offshoot of various cooperative efforts among nations as well as an asset itself in promoting intra- and extra-regional support. Thus, there is an urgent need to create various engagements that are focused on international migration which will set the foundation for ultimately achieving the regional comprehensive partnerships built around the region.
International migration phenomenon is more than just the movement of people. It causes boundless ripple effect politically, economically and socio-culturally on both sending and receiving countries at the regional level. Therefore, an active intra- and extra-regional collaboration in East Asia is highly valuable. In effect, this will allow international migration to create countless measure to narrow the development gap that exists among countries in the region.
This project aims to use the migration phenomenon – its great influence on progress and development – to enhance the ASEAN-Korea cooperation. It will also seek measures on how international migration would contribute to the development of the ASEAN countries, while pursuing the enhancement of the ASEAN-Korea cooperation.
The ASEAN-Korea Migration Network Project
The ASEAN-Korea Migration Network Project aims to establish and maintain a network of migration experts in the ASEAN-Korea region and to strengthen regional cooperation with the overall theme of “international migration and development”. It is a platform for identifying strategic responses to the issues of international migration through building a framework for dialogue and collaboration among relevant stakeholders from the ASEAN and Korea – government, academe, international organization and civil society.
The project is a venue for planning both short-term and long-term migration researches, policy studies and programs resulting to the development of best practice models in action-research with a view to link research and policy at the local, national, regional and international levels towards evidence-based migration policy planning and policy making.
The project involves three programs:
Program 1. International Experts Meetings– aims to present key intra-regional migration issues and development impacts, to explore possible areas of regional cooperation, to discuss how to operate the ASEAN-Korea Migration Network and to outline the plans for Program 2 and 3;
Program 2. Education and Training Workshop for Government Officials from ASEAN Member States and Korea– aims to enhance the capacity of government officials on responding to issues relevant to migration and development; and
Program 3. Pilot Program for Implementing Brain Circulation– aims to develop and support programs that will enable migrants from the ASEAN countries residing in Korea to contribute to the development of their home countries by imparting their experiences and skills they acquired in Korea.