Public and private sectors brace for AEC

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Bangkok, 3 May 2012  – The Thai public and private sectors have been busily readying themselves for the formation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015 ,while the textile and agro-product industries have been urged to increase their productivity and worker’s skills. 

The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) has held a seminar to discuss the trends of Thailand’s industrial sector and business opportunities after the year 2015 in anticipation for the AEC formation. On this occasion, Industry Minister M.R. Phongsawat Svastiwat has pointed out that the AEC is expected to increase the GDP figures of member countries by 8-10%. Thus, it is advisable for Thailand to brace itself for the AEC by integrating the public sector’s management, human resources, relevant legislations, IT communications, education, and public utilities; before carrying out investment overseas. Additionally, he suggested that the government pour more investment into the country’s infrastructure.

Meanwhile, FTI Chairman Phayungsak Chartsuthipol has expressed great concerns for SME entrepreneurs, especially in the textile, food and agro-product groups, given they are most vulnerable to the impacts of the AEC formation. Thus, these groups of SMEs are encouraged to increase their productivity as well as enhance the skills of their workers.

Mr. Phayungsak also said that Thailand has since 2010 been preparing for its integration into the AEC by becoming a member of the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA). He added that even though Thailand possesses a strong economic foundation, its industrial sector must have a back-up plan in place to counter long-term impacts in order for it to be on par with other AEC members.