Myanmar conflict may drive surge of workers to Thailand

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

The ongoing conflict in Myanmar is predicted to drive its citizens towards Thailand in search of work, according to the Employers’ Confederation of Thai Trade and Industry (EconThai). Following the 2021 military coup and the government’s urgent need to bolster its forces through conscription, Myanmar residents eager to avoid the draft may seek refuge in Thailand, potentially entering the labour market illegally.

EconThai Vice-Chairman Tanit Sorat urged the Thai government to be attentive to these potential labour market shifts, particularly concerning the working status and job applications of Myanmar nationals. Typically, individuals from neighbouring countries are permitted to work in Thailand through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Thailand and the nation in question.

Thailand’s economy leans heavily on migrant workers from neighbouring countries, who typically take on menial roles often classified as the 3Ds – dirty, difficult, and dangerous – that Thai citizens prefer not to do, said Tanit.

“We need migrant workers in many industries and the agricultural sector.”

EconThai reports that Myanmar workers are found across a range of sectors in Thailand, including food processing, electronics, auto parts, tyres, garments and textiles, fisheries, sugar cane, rubber, and construction. They are primarily located in Bangkok or the provinces of Samut Sakhon, Pathum Thani, and Nakhon Pathom.

At the moment, approximately 2.3 million workers from Myanmar, the largest group of migrant workers from neighbouring countries, are in Thailand. Many of these individuals enter through the MoU between the two nations, while others are granted permission to work following the Thai cabinet’s approval, said Tanit.

“This number excludes illegal workers. If this group of workers were included, the total number of workers from Myanmar would be 4 million.”

The political turmoil in Myanmar also impacts border trade, as businesses are forced to alter transportation routes and bear additional logistics costs.

In related news, in Thailand’s Tak province, young Myanmar nationals, including women, evade military conscription, facing apprehension by border soldiers amidst rising resistance against Myanmar’s junta.

Business NewsPolitics News

Alex Morgan

Alex is a 42-year-old former corporate executive and business consultant with a degree in business administration. Boasting over 15 years of experience working in various industries, including technology, finance, and marketing, Alex has acquired in-depth knowledge about business strategies, management principles, and market trends. In recent years, Alex has transitioned into writing business articles and providing expert commentary on business-related issues. Fluent in English and proficient in data analysis, Alex strives to deliver well-researched and insightful content to readers, combining practical experience with a keen analytical eye to offer valuable perspectives on the ever-evolving business landscape.

Related Articles