Cambodia will face both challenges and opportunities when the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) combines its 10 countries into a single market for economic development, a move intended for 2015, officials said during a round-table discussion yesterday.
Sok Siphanna, an adviser to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, said at the discussion organised by the Club of Cambodian Journalists that the ASEAN Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) will include the free flow of skilled workers in certain areas, including engineering, architecture, medicine and accounting.
In these sectors, even skilled employees with institutional recognition and years of experience within Cambodia will need to fulfill MRA assessments when they want to work in other ASEAN countries, Siphanna said.
“Skill certification can be both a challenge and an opportunity,” he said, noting that accounting schools, for example, can add courses offering instruction in the skills students will need to compete with other ASEAN workers.
“Please do not feel that your jobs will be grabbed,” he said. “We can learn from the entry of a skilled workforce, so hopefully in five years, we will have the skills to compete in the market.”