How Thailand implements the roadmap for ASEAN Community by 2015 Introduction My name is P. I am a human resource development officer in the Department of Foreign Trade in Thailand. According to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Community 2015 that Thailand is planning to attend in 2015, my responsibility is providing support in the various human resource functions, which include training and developing. The main purpose of this document is to provide the preparation for Thais on the roadmap of ASEAN Community 2015.
Thailand is supposed to create a new policy that would assist Thailand to wisely develop the country and expand the economy among ASEAN Community 2015. Overview of the Issues The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was established on 8 August 1967 by five leaders – the Foreign Ministers of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand and then membership has enlarged to include Brunei, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam, making up what is today the ten Member States of ASEAN.
ASEAN is an inter-governmental and economic organization. ASEAN has considerably contributed to strengthening the basis for peace, stability, security and prosperity in the region as well as enhancing the regional coherence and competitiveness in the face of new challenges unleashed by globalization and the rise of new economic powerhouses in Asia. The co-operation program of ASEAN is very comprehensive, covering all domains of social life, politically, economically, socially and culturally in line with the ASEAN Vision 2020. Yoong Yoong, 2011) However, in 2009 ASEAN reaffirms the commitment to accelerating the establishment of the ASEAN Community by decreasing 5 years to 2015. The ASEAN Community 2015 is comprised of three pillars, the ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC), the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC). AEC’s end-goal of a “single market” connotes an EU-style common market where there is complete freedom of trade of goods, services, capital and labor (Peter, 2005).
The three pillars have different concepts, hence, to start with ASEAN Political-Security Community; The APSC shall aim to ensure that countries in the region live at peace with one another and with the world in a just, democratic and harmonious environment (ASEAN Secretariat, 2012). The ASEAN Economic Community is the free flow of goods, services, investment, and a competition in the global economy. The ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community is to realize an ASEAN Community that is people-oriented and socially responsible with a view to achieving enduring solidarity and unity among the peoples and Member States of ASEAN (ASEAN Secretariat, 2012).
The establishment of ASEAN’s single market in 2015 is expected to bring both benefits and costs back to member countries. Initially, Free Trade Area underpinning the AEC is the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA), an advantageous tariff scheme to stimulate the free flow of goods within ASEAN that are manufactured locally within any ASEAN country. The AFTA will open more regional cooperation and will enable easier movement of investment, goods, services, capital and people. Next in order, the ASEAN Comprehensive Investment Area (ACIA) will encourage the free flow of investment within ASEAN.
All industries are to be opened up for investment, elimination of investment impediments, enlarging transparency, and undertaking investment facilitation measures. In the third place, ASEAN members are negotiating intra-regional services liberalization in several sectors, including financial services, air transport, construction, maritime transport, telecommunications and tourism. There are eight professions that lay the way for the free flow of skilled labor consisting doctors, dentists, nurses, engineers, architects, accountants, surveyors and the tourism industry.
Ultimately, to enhancing tourism opportunity in ASEAN countries. Asians travel more in the region and there are more travelers from other countries that have begun to reach out to Asia as new visitors, especially the tourists from Europe. The travel and tourism sector is estimated to account for 4. 6 percent of ASEAN GDP and 10. 9 percent when taking into account all indirect contributions. It directly employs 9. 3 million people, or 3. 2 percent of total employment, and indirectly supports some 25 million jobs (World Economic Forum, 2012).
In terms of economic growth in ASEAN, the ten Southeast Asian countries are widely different from each other. Most countries are developing their countries; Malaysia, for instance, has targeted 6 percent average annual growth for the period 2006-2010 against 4. 9 percent in 2000-2005. The Philippine development plan calls for growth to accelerate to 7-8 percent in 2009-2010 which requires greater than 7 percent growth overall in 2006-2010 in comparison to 4. 6 percent in 2000-2005 (David, 2008).
Including Thailand which is an agricultural country and also an important rice producer and exporter to the world. Thai rice exports in 2010 had a value of US$5,399 million; Thailand had 47. 41% of the world market share of global rice exports. (University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, 2011). After one year of the AEC’s opening, there are only three countries that have so far benefited by expanded market shares inside ASEAN consist of Thailand which over 10,000 million dollars, Vietnam and Indonesia as shown in the appendix (table 9).
Simultaneously, Thailand increased the opportunities to export to the ASEAN market such as rice, industrial goods, motor vehicles, parts and transportation accessories, and electrical appliances and electronics according to table 3, 5, 6, and 7 in the appendix. On the other hand, 100% of Thai farmers still neither know nor understand the AEC, and whilst 86. 6% of millers know AEC only 10% of them understand the details of the agreements (University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, 2011).
Consequently, Thailand must be prepared the personnels ahead of time to meet the challenges and opportunities of ASEAN. Policy Recommendation * Public Relations about ASEAN : With over 60 million Thais, I think that approximately only 10 percent who understand deeply about ASEAN. Thereby, this policy will assist Thais to understand clearly about this organization. We need to give the information about ASEAN including the explanation what is ASEAN and How ASEAN benefits back to Thais by using social media such as television, radio, newspaper, and brochure.
When the government encourages ASEAN, then a more cooperative approach may be possible in the future. * English learning center : As we know that English will be the official language of ASEAN, hence, Thailand need to introduce a basic curriculum in English and focus on developing teachers. Thais ticked Filipino and Chinese languages most probably due to the influx of Filipino English teachers, Thais with Chinese origins, and the thousands of government sponsored Chinese language teachers spread even in the remotest areas of the kingdom (Wilang and Teo, 2012).
Accordingly, the government has to improve English skills for Thais to get people ready for ASEAN community. Thai students’ English-language skills rank below those of youngsters in at least three other member countries of ASEAN, according to a recent survey by Education First (EF), an international language school Thailand ranked 42nd out of 44 countries surveyed for adult English proficiency below Vietnam (39), and Indonesia (34), with Malaysia the top ASEAN country at No 9 (Bangkokpost, 2012).
Therefore, the government need to renovate the basis of education by increase qualified English teacher and improve speaking and grammar. I understand that Thais have always been shy when we speak due to Thai accent and vocabulary but Thailand will have to compete against English-speaking professionals and skilled workers from the other member. It is never too late to start improving English language skills for Thai nations. * The vocational training center : Unemployment at the end of 1997 was officially estimated at 1. million people and is expected to increase by 400,000 or more during 1998; incomes of those in employment have been reduced through reduction in hours worked, in regular pay and in bonuses; the prices of food, pharmaceuticals and other essential commodities have risen; and some public services have been reduced due to budgetary cutbacks (as cited in Barbara, 1998). Following this, Thailand has to concern about the vocational training center because this organization assesses the current provision that they need for training among unemployment and expand current labor market opportunities.
Thailand is an agricultural country, hence, we need skilled labor to operate with agricultural raw materials, as well as to improve the economic structure for greater efficiency in production, transportation, and strengthen public and private sector cooperation. * Establish a specific organization for ASEAN community in Thailand : After Thailand decided to attend to ASEAN community 2015, Thailand was established Department of ASEAN Affairs, this organization preserve and promote Thailand’s role in ASEAN in term of political stability and security, potential, social and cultural development.
In others, this organization is an intermediary between Thailand and ASEAN community regarding the economy and the negotiation in ASEAN free trade area. Conclusion When 2015 arrives, as a member of the ASEAN, It will inevitably affect Thailand in many aspects. It is imperative that Thailand have to prepare ourselves not only for being a good member of ASEAN Community but also for accommodating the ASEAN Community. During 2 years, over 60 million Thais are working hard to improve the potential to get Thailand ready for ASEAN community in 2015 especially the English skills.
There are going to be more jobs and more opportunities from the foreign investors. Consequently, I believe that these policies will definitely assist Thailand implements the roadmap for ASEAN Community by 2015. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions or comments at [email protected] edu. Appendix : See Reference 7 pg. 11-13 References Green, D. (2008). The Role of ASEAN Economic Community as a Commitment to Policy Certainty. ASEAN Economic Bulletin, 25(2), pp. 209-227. doi:10. 1355/ae24-2f Lee, Y. (2011). Asean Matters : Reflecting on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. WSPC/OTHERS. . 54. Retrieved from http://site. ebrary. com/lib/jwu/Doc? id= 10493524&ppg=54 Lloyd, P. J. (2005). What is a Single Market: An Application to the Case of ASEAN. ASEAN Economic Bulletin, 22(3), pp. 251-263. Murray, B. (1998). Vocational Training of Disabled Persons in Thailand: a Challenge to Policymakers. Gladnet Collection. Wilang, J. , & Teo, A. (2012). Measuring the Comprehensibility of Englishes within ASEAN among Aseans. Online Submission. Retrieved from http://0-search. ebscohost. com. helin . uri. edu/login. aspx? direct=true&db=eric&AN=ED535030&site=ehost-live&scope=site Bangkokpost. 2012, July 27). English skills below Asean partners. Bangkokpost. Retrieved from http://www. bangkokpost. com/breakingnews/304600/thai-ranks-no-42-in- english Center for International Trade Studies, University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce. (2011). An Analysis:ASEAN Economic Community,What is Thailand in the ASEAN Market? 1(4) The ASEAN Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report, (2012). World Economic Forum. Retrieved from www. weforum. org/aean_ttcr_2012. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations Secretariat. (2012). Retrieved from http://www. asean. org/asean/about-asean.