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Aiko Kikkawa and Eric B. Suan

Regional integration has played an essential role in driving economic and social development in many parts of the world by generating growth through market expansion and improved allocation of resources. ASEAN economies have succeeded in deepening economic integration both regionally and globally through trade, investment, and finance. There is equally a dynamic flow of labor across ASEAN and from ASEAN to the world, but tangible results in facilitating labor mobility as a region remain limited as most labor migration policies remain in the hands of individual countries. Achieving intra_ASEAN labor mobility requires strong political commitment across governments with the cooperation from employers and professional organizations. This introductory chapter provides an overview of the latest trends and patterns of the mobility of people and labor in ASEAN by providing detailed description of the dynamics and how it relates to the overall framework and regional integration policies. The chapter also explores the possible roles labor mobility will play in the post_2015 ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), and draws policy recommendations and suggestions for future research.