In every situation, there exist both opportunities and threats which depend on perspectives and attitudes. I have analyzed the effects of entering into the ASEAN Community in the previous article. In this article, I will point out the opportunities that will be occurring from the emergence of the ASEAN Community for the people of Bangkok in many ways which is as follows:
1) Opportunities for trade
Bangkokians could gain from opportunities on exporting commodities to ASEAN markets which is becoming a large market. Due to the reduction of tax barriers and laws and regulations between countries, the development of basic infrastructure linking transportation between countries has eased transportation to neighboring countries. The people of Bangkok can also make use of opportunities to make money from the influx of tourists. There are also opportunities from importing products, raw materials, and factors of production, as well as donations from foreign countries at a lower cost, which could lower down costs of production. However, the opening of free trade under AEC does not increase the opportunities in entering the ASEAN-6 market or the old members of ASEAN 6 countries due to the AFTA agreement, which has been in place since 2000.This is because the tax barriers of the ASEAN-6 countries had been eradicated for long. However, the opportunities in entering CLMV market or new 4 members of the ASEAN will increase due to the CLMV group.
There is a schedule of delay in the opening of free trade in the ASEAN-6 group.
2) Opportunities for investment
The opening of free trade for investment will allow investors in Bangkok to invest in neighborhood countries. As the limitations on investing in foreign countries are lowered, people will have more opportunities to approach or gain benefits from cheaper factors of production and labor; along with the rich resources of neighborhood countries, including the opportunities to enter more new markets abroad. Apart from this, we still have more opportunities to gain investment from foreigners or cooperate with foreign business partners. The inflow of investment will come with new technology, up to date methods of management, foreign currencies, and the increase in opportunities for entering new foreign markets.
3) Opportunities for employment
Increased numbers of Bangkokians will gain opportunities to go work abroad due to higher fluctuations of investment and establishment of foreign companies in Bangkok as this would increase the demand for jobs more locals. At the same time, the opening of free trade moves foreign labors across countries and which will shift people who work abroad (especially the 25 occupations that are allowed to move within the company) to have the opportunity to work in foreign countries as well as allowing the free trade of 7 branches of specialized labor (such as engineering, nurses, architectures, exploratory, doctors, dentists, and accounting) to have more opportunities to work abroad. This seems to be a great opportunity to gain experience by working with foreign companies and receiving a higher income, especially for those working in Singapore where there are up to 7,000 companies from America, Europe, and Japan etc. The entrepreneurs will also have the opportunities of hiring quality employees from foreign countries to work in their companies as well. However, nowadays the movement of skilled employees to go work in ASEAN countries still has some limitations. Limitations include the standard of skilled labors needed in each country differ and some countries have set up more conditions to block foreign labors to not allow them to work in their countries.
4) Opportunities for increasing value of assets
The ASEAN community will turn Bangkok into a golden area as its location stands at the center of the community region. Plus, Bangkok has the potential of being a center for trade, investment, transportation, and tourism. Bangkokians could also gain from more opportunities in businesses, especially from the production distribution line, and the services provided to foreigners in the country. The value of land and real estates tend to increase, as the numbers of foreigners in Bangkok also increase. This increases the demand for accommodation, offices, and land for production factory.
These circumstances are highly expected to occur; however, Bangkokians can make use of these opportunities and profit from the changing situation by preparing themselves and adapting to the circumstances which occur in this period. In the next article, I will be presenting on how Bangkokians can adapt themselves into the upcoming ASEAN community.
ISSUE0089 (May-Jun 15)