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Economy

Migrant crackdowns hit ASEAN's labor flow

Moves by Malaysia and Thailand leave short-staffed companies facing higher costs

A worker collects palm oil fruit at a palm oil factory in Sepang, outside Kuala Lumpur.   © Reuters

SINGAPORE/BANGKOK Tighter restrictions on foreign labor in Malaysia and Thailand have pushed out millions of migrant workers, driving up wages and threatening a growth model reliant on freedom of movement and cheap labor.

Malaysia's Top Glove, the world's largest manufacturer of rubber gloves, faces a very challenging increase in labor costs, according to Executive Chairman Lim Wee Chai. Foreign workers account for more than half the company's workforce of 13,000.

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