Push and pull factor
Migrant Labour Market
Mae Sot
Special Economic Zone


Abstract: This paper concentrates on the migrant labour market in Mae Sot (Thailand). This study is designed to analyze the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) from various sectors and segments of the migrant labour market. The period of the analysis is 1990–2017 because this is a period of rapid development along the Thailand-Myanmar border and the establishment of the Special Economic Zone in Mae Sot. Political, economic, and social aspects are major external pushing factors from Myanmar. The internal factors indicate that in Thailand’s economic growth, migrant labour plays an important role as pulling factors. Thailand has launched a long-term policy, aiming to recruit formal migrants and legalize migrant labour to hold a temporary work permit. Factories have already implemented low-cost operations by procuring migrant labourers who come from Myanmar to work temporarily in Thailand. The higher-wage jobs of the Special Economic Zone in Mae Sot are attractive, and migrant labourers come to Mae Sot to work. The large supply of labour from Myanmar is one of the key factors that contribute to the benefit of Thailand in terms of “cheap work-force”. Presently, Myanmar’s economy is restructuring, and the labour demand is shifting. The migrant labourers are becoming fewer. The future trend of migrant labour in Mae Sot continues causing increasing concern.

Keywords: push and pull factor, migrant labour market, Mae Sot, special economic zone


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