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Rangsit Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities

ISSN 2286-976X (Print)

ISSN 2539-5513 (Online)

Migratory Drivers of Human Capital – A case of Accountancy students in Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

  • Pearpilai Jutasompakorn, Design and Specialised Business Cluster, Singapore Institute of Technology, Dover Drive, Singapore, *Corresponding author, E-mail: pearpilai@singaporetech.edu.sg
  • Chu Yeong Lim, Nanyang Business School, Nanyang Technological University, Nanyang, Singapore
  • Seck Tan, Design and Specialised Business Cluster, Singapore Institute of Technology, Dover Drive, Singapore


This study aims to investigate and recognize migratory drivers for accountancy students within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries. In 2020, the ASEAN region has a market of 661.5 million people, with an estimated Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of USD 3.1 trillion. The establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015 is a major milestone for regional economic integration. One of the frameworks of AEC amongst others is to transform ASEAN into a single market and production base, reducing barriers to human capital mobility within the region and ultimately achieving a free flow of skilled professionals. However, the intra-ASEAN migration flow statistic is nowhere near AEC’s aspiration where the majority of migrants are unskilled workers. Progress towards unrestricted skilled mobility has been sluggish. accountancy is a skilled regulated profession governed by Mutual Recognition Arrangements on accountancy Services within ASEAN. Surveys were carried out with accountancy students in ASEAN countries and found that gaining learning exposure is an important migration factor for respondents, particularly those who aspire to work in Big Four audit firms or MNCs/banks located in another country within the ASEAN region. While there have been studies that address the challenges from a macro perspective, concerns from the micro perspective have largely been ignored. The findings contribute to the explanatory discourse on existing obstacles towards an aspiration of free movements of the accountancy profession; furthermore, the results have the potential to mitigate unemployment within ASEAN.

Keywords: Human Capital, Migration, Migration drivers, Accountancy, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), ASEAN Economic Community (AEC)

PDF (542.38 KB)

DOI: 10.14456/rjsh.2021.14


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