In preparation to become part of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015, 3 steps have been taken by Thailand to ensure its smooth transition into such integration that would empower ASEAN against major economic powers.
1. The Ministry of Foreign affairs has proposed the establishment of an ASEAN unit, which will be responsible for increasing the ability of civil servants enabling them to effectively interact with their foreign counterparts. Language training such as English and a 3rd language spoken by other ASEAN nations will also be carried out. Certain Thai laws will be amended to pave the way for a smooth integration under the ASEAN framework.
2. The Thai public will be informed of and prepared for the AEC via various channels such as media and education. The Ministry of Education has already incorporated ASEAN studies in the national curriculum which is targeting students at an early age. Other activities include seminars, which have already been held over 200 times in the recent past, and an ASEAN Youth camp, as well as information to raise awareness in print and broadcasting media.
3. As for the private sector, the Thai Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Thai Industry and the Thai Bankers’ Association have pulled together to help enhancing competitiveness in this sector and preparing them to take advantage of the ASEAN market. Strategic approaches have also been developed to cushion whatever impact the AEC may have on SME businesses.