Thai nurses, dentists fear competition from AEC

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BANGKOK, 9 May 2012 – The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) has indicated that certain occupation groups still lack knowledge on the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and fear that their jobs will be taken away by foreigners once the market becomes liberalized. 

UTCC’s Center for International Trade Studies (ITS) Director Att Pisanwanit has revealed that the center has recently conducted an analysis of the competitiveness in 7 occupational groups as the ASEAN region becomes liberalized under the AEC in 2015. The study’s target groups included engineers, nurses, architectures, surveyors, doctors, dentists and accountants. The study found that most still lack understanding about the concept of the AEC and see no benefit from the regional liberalization, stating they have no intention to work in other ASEAN countries given Thailand’s development and income stands at a higher level.

Once the AEC is formed, professionals from ASEAN countries will start flowing into Thailand’s job market, for instance, nurses from the Philippines and dentists from Singapore. Mr. Att explained that these people are keen to work in Thailand as they face unemployment in their home countries.

Mr. Att suggests that these occupation groups be educated on the benefits and impacts of the AEC formation. Meanwhile, their competitiveness must also be enhanced to prepare them from the fierce competition from their ASEAN members.