- To share findings from studies on skills and migration conducted at the global and regional levels;
- To exchange insights on labour market demand and the future of work for migrants in the Middle East, and discuss how labour market information can be shared more systematically with countries of origin in South Asia;
- To identify challenges to skills recognition systems, and propose concrete strategies to overcome them;
- To put forward specific interventions for existing, pipeline and potential programming in countries of origin and destination; and
- To identify points of convergence that could feed into the deliberations on the Global Compact on Migration.
This approach also aligns with the vision documents of several of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) States that set a course away from labour intensive investments and towards knowledge economies. Bilateral pilots and regional cooperation have been initiated, including under the auspices of the Abu Dhabi Dialogue and the Colombo Process. Improving the portability of skills is also an express priority and commitment in the Bali Declaration of the ILO Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting in December 2016.
Under the right conditions, there are multiple benefits to skills development, certification and recognition across borders. However, more evidence, experience sharing and collaboration is required to deliver on this potential. This inter-regional expert forum between South Asia and the Middle East will seek to set out interventions that can be carried forward in the short- and long-term. The outcomes of the discussions will also feed into the consultations on the Global Compact on Migration.