CIFAL Philippines

DISCUSSION PAPER: Challenges to Implementing Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRAs)



Challenges to Implementing Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRAs):

Effects on Human Capital Mobility in Southeast Asia

Joefe B. Santarita, Ph.D.



To complement regionalism, new regionalism in particular, regionalization as a process is expected to come into full circle in facilitating wider mobility of people, especially the professionals and skilled workers within and beyond the region. In Southeast Asia human capital mobility has played an important role in the development of various economies, especially in trade in services and goods. Despite the long existence of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as a regional body, and after two decades and two years of the implementation of the ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services (AFAS) in 1995 and of the MRAs in 2014, human capital mobility has not been fully realized. This paper scrutinizes the factors and challenges that impede or hinder the full implementation of the mechanisms that are supposedly designed to facilitate free movement of skilled workers and professionals. Moreover, the paper offers some suggestions on how to address the said challenges.

Read the full paper here, or download a PDF copy at this link:

CIFAL Policy Paper_2018-01_Santarita