AEC 2015 for better jobs and prosperity

16:24 | 20/03/2015 Society

(VEN) - The International Labor Organization (ILO) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) produced the joint Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Community 2015: Managing Integration for Better Jobs and Shared Prosperity report, which showed that the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) would potentially help the regional economies grow by 7.1 percent by 2025.

AEC 2015 for better jobs and prosperity

oining the AEC would provide Vietnam and other ASEAN countries with opportunities to develop into high-productivity economies

Vietnam, accounting for about a sixth of the labor force of the ASEAN, is predicted to record gross domestic product (GDP) growth by 14.5 percent and experience the creation of about one million of new jobs as a result of its participation in the AEC. The AEC will promote economic restructuring and is predicted to increase the industry employment rate by 23.5 percent by 2025. In addition, the significant expansion of trade and freight services sector will also help increase the sectoral employment rate by 41.3 percent.

Meanwhile, the agricultural employment rate will be reduced to 35.2 percent by 2025, but still provide about 22 million jobs for workers and marking an increase of about two million jobs compared to the pre-AEC period. Experts also noted that Vietnam would need to promote agribusiness in post-harvest periods and improve labor productivity in the agricultural sector to reduce the poverty rate in rural areas.

Although the AEC establishment is expected to promote the construction, trade and transport sectors through generating millions of jobs, two thirds of the new jobs could be very low quality and vulnerable jobs such as self-employment or household jobs, according to the report. The report emphasized that vocational skills training for employees would be a key factor for them to compete in the labor markets despite economic restructuring.

Skill training is an important factor for workers so they can find employment despite economic restructuring

Do not let opportunities slide

Assessing the challenges Vietnam faces when joining the AEC, Director of the ILO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific Yoshiteru Uramoto said, “Despite Vietnam’s current strong economic development, nearly half of its workers are working in the agricultural sector where is noted for poorer labor productivity, incomes and working conditions than some other ASEAN countries.”

According to Yoshiteru Uramoto, joining the AEC would provide Vietnam as well as other ASEAN countries with opportunities to develop into high-productivity economies based on skill development and technological upgrades. However, if ASEAN leaders cannot resolve some key issues, joining the AEC will increase inequality among workers and large numbers of ordinary workers will not benefit from integration.

Labor Economist from ILO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific Phu Huynh was also concerned over the fact that jobseekers lacking the necessary skills and work experience will not be able to grasp the new job opportunities presented by the AEC.

There will be labor shifts from one sector or subsector to another. So workers should be well prepared in terms of skills and techniques in order to meet the new sectoral requirements and improve their employment chances.

By Hong Kieu