What does the AEC really mean? | Bangkok Post: business

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What does the AEC really mean?

While the trade bloc aims to boost the region’s competitiveness, Thailand stands to gain as well as lose

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The advent of the Asean Economic Community (AEC) in late 2015 has been in the limelight in recent years, but how many people are truly aware of it or understand the effect it will have on the economy, businesses, the workforce, education or even society as a whole? 

The AEC is not just about setting up free trade zones within Asean. It aims to create a single market and production base in order to boost the competitiveness of Asean countries. It is expected to create free mobility of goods, services, investments, capitalisation and skilled labour.

Free mobility of labour is a significant element as all businesses and economies rely on manpower. And since the agreements have been signed, the 10 Asean members — Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam and Thailand — have tried to create a single clear standard for professional qualification screening in order to help the free flow of seven key professions plus one sector (hotel and tourism) within member countries and ensure standards of quality. 

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