Assessing the Progress of ASEAN MRAs on Professional Services
ASEAN has established mutual recognition arrangements (MRAs) on eight professional services. This paper assesses the progress of these arrangements' paying special attention to the (i) regional and national implementation, (ii) national regulatory changes, and (iii) utilization of these frameworks and actual movement of these professionals in the region. MRAs on Architectural and Engineering Services have made steady progress, including the setting up of regional registration systems. This, however, has not resulted in a large-scale movement of these professionals for many reasons, such as existence of alternative legal schemes and small additional benefits of ASEAN MRAs. The ASEAN MRA on Nursing Services, without a regional registration system, has facilitated movement of nurses in only a few countries. Meanwhile, further efforts in advancing initiatives closely related to the movement of people are being made: ASEAN Agreement on the Movement of Natural Persons, ASEAN MRA on Accountancy Services, ASEAN MRA on Tourism Professionals, and the ASEAN Qualifications Reference Framework.