Mobility of labour in Asia Pacific region and the consequences upon labour market and labour conditions in Singapore and Hong Kong
There are certain stereotypes, which build up the trade unions in the Asia Pacific region and labour mobility has been appeared with a proper acceleration from various host countries in the Asian region such as Hong Kong and Singapore. The labour mobility in Asia Pacific region is solely responsible because of several potential opportunities, which are unevenly distributed. The commercialisation process of migration can be considered as profit motivated organisations that have the capabilities to take over the recruitment procedures in progressive manner from different state bodies. Its high population, which is more than 4.65 milion, controls the workforce in Singapore and more than one third of this population is expatriate labour. Industrialisation has been solely relied on the export process of foreign investment in direct process. Even the long-term stability of the political parties and the government of Asia Pacific region control the labour mobility in appropriate manner.
The economic condition of the market of Singapore has been developed from third world to “Smooth Singapore”. However, the problem arises in the market of Hong Kong and Singapore because of various issue related domestic workers as the government fails to uptake and implement relevant legislations and policies to stable the situation of labour mobility. The issues of Hong Kong suggests that most of the business operations have investments in various locations of China, therefore, it possesses the capability of transferring the job production in order to take suitable advantages of the basic cost of labour. Even the colonial legislations have not improved to control the labour mobility in Hong Kong and Singapore and it is in the same position. The labour mobility in Hong Kong also encountered with the continuous agreement from the government of China in order to operate free enterprises and simultaneously it concentrates on the low value. The trade unions are divided, which also determines the condition of labour mobility. The GDP level is high in Honk Kong and Singapore, still the income of the labour is distributed unequally and unevenly. As labour mobility is responsible to decide the minimum wages therefore, any kind of issues should be resolved with potential strategies by the government and the higher authority of the organisations. Although both Hong Kong and Singapore supports low taxes and perfect business infrastructure, still there are divergences in the competitiveness in the case of labour mobility and Hong Kong holds the leading position. The weakening economy of Singapore is the major reason of the failure and Singapore government possess strict laws to hire the foreign labours. The government of Singapore pushes the labour cost, which has a direct impact on the competitiveness.
Concept of labour mobility
The concept of labour mobility involves a perfect ease with every associated labourers to be able to move within the economy and economic condition of various countries. Labour mobility also engage essential factors such as the growth and production system of the organisation. The mobility of labour suggests the ability and capacity of the labours for moving from one location to another and even from one occupation to another occupation and even from one industry to a complete different industry.
Factors that determine the labour mobility:
There are various significant factors, which determine the labour mobility of a particular nation. The mobility of labour of Singapore solely depends upon the extent of trained and educated labours, as it is very common fact that a trained, skilled and talented individual has the more scope and possibility to move to other location than the other existing inhabitants do of Singapore. Both the vertical and geographical labour mobility happens in Singapore and Hong Kong. The vertical mobility of labour involves the situation of a labour, which lower status and grade in a specific occupation for moving to another occupation in higher status and grades. The urge and outlook of the labours of Hong Kong and Singapore determines the labour mobility. There are other factors, which also decide the labour mobility such as the social set up of the inhabitants, agricultural developments, transportation system, development of trade and industrialisation. The labour mobility helps to increase the productivity and efficiency of the labours because of their moving from one occupation to another. Labour mobility also enhances the basic income of a nation and therefore, the economic condition of a country has been developed. Similar things happen in the case of Hong Kong and Singapore. With the help of labour mobility, these countries have transformed from the third world countries to developed countries.
Aspects of labour mobility
Immigration has been proved a common factor in the case of labour mobility and the intra regional mobility of labour across various countries. The basic aspect of the labour mobility in Singapore and Hong Kong increases only because of the developed urbanisation. However, the effects and trends of labour mobility have been constantly changing in the developing countries of South Asian region. The labour mobility of Singapore and Hong Kong solely highlights the essential requirements of the workers in the neighbouring countries for developing the economic condition of the nation. The history of Singapore determines the labour mobility as during the colonial rule, there was a clear ignorance of maintain an appropriate labour dependency while performing own roles and responsibilities within various organisation in Singapore. There was a deep routed conflict among the workers, which comes out during the industrialisation and it support the labour mobility of the country. Even the government of Singapore is responsible for labour mobility as there are hardly any strict rules, legislations and regulations for retaining its workers. However, the government of Singapore supports labour mobility because it increases the fundamental supply of workers in specific industries and it reduces the rate of minimum wage to the labours.
Figure 1: Wages and Foreign worker levies of low-wage workers in Singapore
(Source: Hui 2013)
From this above-mentioned graph, it has been reflected that the labours of Singapore prefer labour mobility and to work in other place rather than Singapore as it helps to earn more revenue. Labour mobility allows the nascent industries of Singapore to grow and it is easy for the labourers to pursue in a completely different industry for huge supply of labours from other neighbouring countries.
Effects of the labour market in Hong Kong and Singapore
Hong Kong and Singapore hold the most competitive position of labour mobility in the entire Asia Pacific region. However, from recent studies, it can be understood that Hong Kong is emerging high in the labour mobility and Singapore is sliding in gradual manner. The business environment of Hong Kong is more promising than Singapore and can generate more sustainable value of business than the existing one of previous years. The labour mobility of these two concerned countries illustrates the basic level of competitiveness as it denotes the capability of a nation for creating a perfect environment base on the economic performance, business infrastructure, efficiency and the policies of the government. However, both Hong Kong and Singapore boast the low taxes, easy procedures, good and stable infrastructure for a business.
Challenges to address issues for foreign domestic workers in Hog Kong:
The foreign domestic workers of Hog Kong are increasing in gradual manner and they are scrutinised and criticised by the various groups of human rights to the modern slavery as tantamount. There are certain cases of abuses, unpaid wages and criminal intimidations of the foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong. All these challenges with appropriate employment of policies, procedures, rules and regulations of the government of Hong Kong can be reduced and resolved. Even the justice centres and NGOs of Hong Kong support these foreign domestic workers in order to get the suitable justice to pursue the business operation. The statistical report has revealed the fact that minimum 33.24% foreign domestic workers are operating in various sectors of Hong Kong. This labours number have the potentiality to be a bit higher if it was not undercounted in the surveys of labour force. During the last annual year, the highest percentage of foreign domestic workers was calculated by 7.34% in the Asia Pacific regions.
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