Thai labour confident to compete in AEC


BANGKOK, April 30 – The majority of Thai labourers are confident that they will be able to compete with workers from other countries in the regional bloc as the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is approaching, according to an academic survey released on Wednesday.

The poll, in conjunction with the occasion of May Day, was conducted between April 24-29 among 1,069 people by the Siam Technology Internet Poll Research Center, on the perception of Thai workers regarding the AEC which will take effect at the end of 2015.

The poll found that slightly more than three-fourths–77.74 per cent of respondents said they acknowledge that Thailand will be part of AEC next year. Four in five workers–83,31 per cent–said they learned about it mainly from television, followed by radio, comments from friends, print media and the internet, respectively.

More than two-thirds–71.28 per cent–said they are confident that they have the capacity to compete with skilled labourers from other AEC member countries, while only 18.15 per cent said they are not certain.

Thirty per cent said language skills are the most important issue needing to be improved, while 19.27 per cent believe they need to improve their educational qualifications.

More than half–52.39 per cent–shunned the idea of moving to work in other AEC countries, but one in three, however, said they are interested.

The most concerning issues when Thailand fully enters the AEC among the poll respondents were workers from other ASEAN countries taking their jobs their jobs in Thailand (81.85 per cent), lower wages (79.23 per cent), lay-offs (76.33 per cent), few choices to apply for jobs (74.28 per cent) and increased qualifications needed for job applications (71.28 per cent).

AEC is the regional economic integration programme which will transform ASEAN into a region with free movement of goods, services, investment, skilled labour, and a freer flow of capital.

ASEAN is comprised of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.