The borders between Asean countries will begin to disappear for skilled computer workers starting in 2015.
Photo above of an IT professional overseeing the network operations control room of a data center.
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New career paths, IT professionals will enjoy greater opportunity under the Asean Economic Community's free flow of skilled labour by Suchit Leesa-ng
If you are a talented information technology (IT) professional, the Asean Economic Community (AEC), which kicks off in in 2015, could widen your regional career opportunities thanks to its guaranteed free flow of skilled labour.
What will become a single market and production base now has a population of 601 million, representing an opportunity for Thailand's software industry to export via online sales.
Even though free trade will bring tremendous opportunities, it is also threatening local software companies due to fiercer competition in terms of capital, costs and workers' English-language capability.
"This is a wake-up call for the local IT industry, which must prepare now to compete with upcoming rivals," said Ronnarong Poonpipat, director of the Trade Negotiations Department, at the AEC 2015 seminar organised by Software Park Thailand recently.
IT competitiveness should top the national agenda along with improving the broadband network infrastructure in order to promote niche software exports in the healthcare and tourism industries.
He said computers and telecommunications are two more categories that should be liberalised under an "e-Asean".
Foreign companies from within Asean were supposed to be allowed equity participation of 70% in some Thai sectors last year ahead of the AEC, far above the present 49% limit to foreign shareholding under the Foreign Business Act
Last year, the other nine Asean members agreed to this arrangement, but Thailand was the lone holdout due to the domestic political crisis at the time
However, the new Yingluck Shinawatra government has agreed to comply with the policy by the end of this year, he said.
Service liberalisation will include cross-border supply, with activity conducted at a distance via any medium without meeting each other such as outsourcing or data processing.
"Equity investment will take immediate effect, while the free flow of skilled labour will start in 2015," said Mr Ronnarong.
He said the AEC needed many parties to become involved including the Labour Ministry, the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Ministry and the National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission (NBTC).
"There's a lot of software demand in Asean countries, but our local providers need to be competitive enough to fight the expected influx of new foreign rivals with skilled people," said Mr Ronnarong.
Tanit Sorat, a vice-chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries, said the AEC will be Thailand's biggest challenge to date, one that will transform the country.
Once the single market opens, the automotive, electronic and agriculture industries among others will be keen on investing in IT, particularly software, in order to increase their competitiveness, he said.
The government needs to integrate national single windows for trade data exchange, and a national gateway will also be needed, Mr Tanit added.
Methini Thepmani, an ICT Ministry inspector-general, said the ICT minister has been meeting with the labour minister to come up with IT certification for professionals.
Asean will require certification for five professional IT positions - systems analyst, network and systems administrator, ICT project management, information systems and network security, and enterprise architecture design and software development.
"Thailand hopes to become a certification provider," Mrs Methini added.
Supot Tiarawut, director of the Telecommunications Research and Industry Development Institute, said Singapore and Malaysia will act as a "middle men", attracting global technology companies to set up offices there and transform themselves into Asean companies in order to be entitled to AEC privileges.
"Indonesia and Thailand will be the top two countries that global companies will target for expansion, thanks to their large populations," he said.
For the telecom sector, Dr Supot said the NBTC should hold the 3G licence auction on the 2.1-gigahertz spectrum by mid-2012.
Thanachart Numnonda, the director of Software Park Thailand, said smartphone users in Asean will number 41.9 million by 2015, up from 3 million in 2009.
Such prolific growth provided the huge benefit to mobile application sector.
In its Digital Economy rankings for last year, the Economist Intelligence Unit rated Singapore second in ICT competitiveness, Malaysia 36th, Thailand 40th, Vietnam 62nd and Indonesia 65th.
Mr Thanachart said this showed much room for improvement on Thailand's part.
Suphajee Suthumpun, the chief executive of Thaicom Plc, said ICT technology will act as an enabler pushing the growth of Asean countries.
Thailand will have to improve its education system, language skills and analytical ability by offering tax incentives for skill development, he said.
Janewit Kraprayoon, general manager of True Internet Data Center, said Thailand offers a good location for data centres.
(Source: Bangkok Post, New career paths, IT professionals will enjoy greater opportunity under the Asean Economic Community's free flow of skilled labour, 28/09/2011, Suchit Leesa-ng, link)
career - the series of related jobs that you spend your work life doing (See Wikipedia) (See glossary)
career path - the jobs that a person has (hopefully with each jon, a better job, a higher position in the organisation with greater responsibility and higher salary)
opportunity - a situation when it is possible to do something that you want to do (See glossary)
regional career opportunities - when people can get jobs at companies in other ASEAN countries (example: Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, etc)
IT professional - a skilled computer and computer network worker
enjoy greater opportunity - have more and better job choices
Asean - the organisation for regional cooperation between Southeast Asian states (Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Laos, Brunei, Indonesia, Cambodia, and Myanmar) (See Wikipedia)
Asean Economic Community (AEC) - a plan for the econmic integration of ASEAN states by 2015 with a gradual elimination of barriers to trade and investment in the region (See introduction)
Asean Economic Community's free flow of skilled labour
talented - skilled; being very good at something ความสามารถพิเศษ ซึ่งมีพรสวรรค์
information technology (IT) - the subject of computers and computer networks such as the internet
information technology (IT) professional - a skilled computer or computer network operator
kicks off - starts
guaranteed - promised that they will get something, for sure
production base - the place where many factories are located
population - all the people who live in one country, area or place กลุ่มพืชและสัตว์ที่อาศัยอยู่ในบริเวณหนึ่ง
online sales - selling goods and services to people over the internet
trade - the buying and selling of goods การค้าขาย
free trade - buying and selling goods between countreis without tariffs
tremendous - very great in amount or level, or extremely good ใหญ่โตมาก ที่ดี ที่มากมหาศาล
local - in this country (here: Thailand)
local software companies - software companies in Thailand
capital - money invested in a business (See glossary)
capability - the ability to do something ความสามารถ
English-language capability - how well a person can communicate in the English language (listening, speaking, reading, writing)
wake-up call for the local IT industry - an event that tells the IT industry in the country that they better do something quick
upcoming - will happen soon ที่กำลังจะมาถึง
rivals - people you are competing with to achieve something that not everyone can have (like customers) คู่แข่ง คู่อริ
competitiveness - how well a business can do compared to other firms (does it have lower price or higher quality?), how well a company is able to maintain or gain customers in a market การแข่งขัน
agenda - list of goals to achieve in the future
national agenda - the important goals for the whole country
broadband - the most common high-speed data transmission used for high-speed Internet access, fast enough to support applications such as streaming video (See Wikipedia)
network - a large system of connected computers, parts, organisations, people, etc. เครือข่าย
infrastructure - a set of systems within a place or organisation that affect how well it operates, e.g., the telephone and transport systems in a country or the system of train tracks that a railway uses สาธารณูปโภค (See Google Definitions)
niche - a small specialized area
healthcare - the treatment and prevention of diseases and other medical problems
telecommunications - communications by radio waves using mobile phones, TV, radio, broadband internet.. (See Wikipedia)
liberalised - to make the rules for an industry less strict, so it is easier to do business and for new companies to enter the industry
equity - 1. money for a business that comes from owners, not borrowed money (debt) เงินลงทุน ที่มาจากการระดมหุ้นของหุ้นส่วน และผู้มีกรรมสิทธิ ; 2. the value of a company's shares กรรมสิทธิ์หุ้นส่วนในบริษัทห้างร้าน
participation - being involved in an activity
equity participation - buying part of the stock shares of a company, being part owner of a company
limit - a highest or lowest amount
shareholding - owning the stock shares of a company
lone - single เดี่ยว หนึ่งเดียว
lone holdout - the only one that didn't agree (to do something, for example)
domestic - within the country ภายในประเทศ
crisis - an urgent, difficult or dangerous situation วิกฤต วิกฤตการณ์
domestic political crisis - a dangerous political situation within the country
comply - to obey a rule or a law การปฏิบัติตามกฎ
policy - a set of plans or action agreed on by a government, political party, business, or other group นโยบาย (See Wikipedia)
comply with the policy - follow the policy, do what the policy says you should do, follow the policy plan
liberalisation - relaxing rules in an industry, making the rules governing an activity less strict; people are allowed more freedom of action (See glossary) เสรีภาพในการแสดงความคิดเห็นหรือแสดงออก
service liberalisation - reducing and relaxing the rules controlling service industries in a country (example, liberalising tourism sector and allowing companies from other ASEAN countries to set up tourism related businesses in the country)
border - the official line separating two areas, regions or countries เขตแดน อาณาเขต
cross-border - when an activity happens across the border between two countries
conducted at a distance via any medium without meeting each other - some action between companies in different countries is done by computer
outsourcing - paying someone outside of the company to do a business task จัดจ้างคนภายนอก (See Wikipedia)
data processing - computer programs that handle business information (accounting, inventory, reservations, logistics, etc)
data - facts or information used for making calculations or decisions ข้อมูล
investment - taking your money and putting it into projects to make a profit or earn interest (buying stock shares, bonds, real estate)
equity investment - buying stock shares in a company (becoming a part owner of a country)
take immediate effect - happen now, happen immediately
parties - people or companies entering into a business arrangement or deal
demand - the need and desire to buy goods and services by households and businesses
local providers - IT companies in the country that sell IT services
competitive - involving competition มีการแข่งขัน
influx - the number coming into a place
expected - believe will happen คาดว่า (จะเกิดขึ้น)
expected influx - the number expected to come into a place
challenge - something that needs a lot of skill, energy, and determination to deal with or achieve สิ่งที่ท้าทาย, การท้าทาย
Thailand's biggest challenge to date - the most difficult thing that Thailand has had to do up to now
transform - to change from one form into another เปลี่ยนไปสู่อีกสิ่งหนึ่ง
challenge that will transform the country -
keen on - very interested, eager or wanting (to do) something very much สนใจ, ใจจดใจจ่อ สนใจอย่างยิ่ง
keen on investing in IT
integrate - to combine things of different types in one effective system รวมเข้าด้วยกัน bring together and combine (so it all works together as a whole)
inspector - an official whose job is to check that things are in the correct condition or that people are doing what they should ผู้ตรวจสอบ
certification - an process of meeting certain high standards and being issued with an "certificate" to prove this after an official examination การรับรองคุณภาพ
IT certification for professionals - when skilled IT workers (or professionals) have to pass an exam to show (demonstrate, prove) their knowledge and ability
systems analyst - a worker who analyses the needs of a business company or an organization and then designs computer programs and processes for common tasks in business (business processes) (See Wikipedia)
network administrator - a person responsible for the maintenance of computer hardware and software in a computer network. This normally includes deploying, configuring, maintaining and monitoring active network equipment.
The network administrator is usually the highest level of technical staff in an organization and will rarely be involved with direct user support. ...Network administrators are considered tier 3 support personnel that only work on break/fix issues that could not be resolved at the tier 1 (helpdesk) or tier 2 (desktop/network technician) levels. Depending on the company, the Network Administrator may also design and deploy networks... will commonly include activities and tasks such as network address assignment, assignment of routing protocols and routing table configuration as well as configuration of authentication and authorization – directory services. It often includes maintenance of network facilities in individual machines, such as drivers and settings of personal computers as well as printers and such. It sometimes also includes maintenance of certain network servers: file servers, VPNgateways, intrusion detection systems, etc... Network administrators may also be technically involved in the maintenance and administration of servers, desktop computers, printers, routers, switches, firewalls, phones, personal digital assistants, smartphones, software deployment, security updates and patches as well as a vast array of additional technologies inclusive of both hardware and software. (See Wikipedia)
project management - the discipline of planning, organizing, securing, and managing resources to achieve the goals of a project that will run for a limited period of time. the primary challenge of project management is to achieve all of the project goals and objectives while meeting constraints such as scope, time, and budget (See Wikipedia)
security - protecting from harm or damage
information systems security - protecting information and computers (information systems) from "unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, perusal, inspection, recording or destruction" (See Wikipedia)
network security - information systems security for computer networks (See Wikipedia)
software development - writing computer programs (See Wikipedia)
enterprise architecture design - writing computer programs for large companies or organizations (See Wikipedia)
enterprise - an organization, especially a business กิจการ, บริษัท,อุตสาหกิจ,วิสาหกิจ
architecture - the structure or organisation of something (such as a building (สถาปัตยกรรม), computer system or organization)
development - the gradual growth and formation of something
middle men - people or companies who work between two people or organizations helping them with buying and selling and business
global - throughout the world ทั่วโลก
global technology companies
set up offices - create an office in a new city or country
transform themselves into Asean companies - company changes into an ASEAN company
entitled - having the right to have or do something มีสิทธิโดยชอบ
entitled to AEC privileges - able to get the special things that ASEAN companies and citizens get
target - a goal; what you are planning to achieve เป้าหมาย
expansion - when something increases in size, number or importance การขยายออก
countries that global companies will target for expansion
telecom - telecommunications, dealing with telephones การโทรคมนาคม หมายถึง การสื่อสารทางไกลโดยใช้โทรศัพท์ เคเบิล โทรทัศน์ วิทยุและโทรเลข
sector - a part of the economy (public sector = government, private sector = all businesses, household sector = families and consumers, banking sector,...) ภาคเศรษฐกิจของประเทศ (See Wikipedia)
telecom sector - all the telecom companies in the economy
licence - official permission from government to do a business or some activity
auction - when people offer competing bids to buy something or to be chosen as the contractor to do a project การขายโดยการประมูล,
3G licence auction
spectrum - a range of radio waves used for radio communications ความถี่คลื่นวิทยุที่ใช้ในการสื่อสาร
prolific growth - lots of growth
benefit - to get help or an advantage from something ผลประโยชน์
mobile application sector - companies that write computer programs for mobile telephones
rankings - a list with the best first and the worst last
improvement - when something gets better or when you make it better การปรับปรุง, การทำให้ดีขึ้น
there is much room for improvement - can still improve, many opportunities for improvement
executive - the highest level managers in a company
ICT technology will act as an enabler pushing the growth of Asean countries
improve - to make better ทำให้ดีขึ้น
skills - a type of work or task requiring special training and knowledge ทักษะ ความสามารถเฉพาะทาง
analytical ability - ability to solve problems
incentives - rewards for behaving in a certain manner สิ่งกระตุ้น รางวัล ผลตอบแทน
tax incentives - try to make people do things by reducing their taxes to reward them
offering tax incentives for skill development - reduce taxes to people who spend money on their education
data centres - "a facility used to house computer systems and associated components, such as telecommunications and storage systems. It generally includes redundant or backup power supplies, redundant data communications connections, environmental controls (e.g., air conditioning, fire suppression) and security devices" (See Wikipedia)
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