The ASEAN Community: Grabbing a golden opportunity

The ASEAN Community: Grabbing a golden opportunity


Most young Cambodians have probably grown up hearing the word “ASEAN” since they were in high school. But, did they ever really learn about it?

Few youths know the importance of ASEAN, even though they’re worried about the future of their own job security.

{jathumbnail}

Cheang Sokha, an exec-utive director of the Youth Resources Development Program (YRDP), and a former organiser of the ASEAN youth forum, said that having an ASEAN community is vital for all – especially, young citizens who are members to ASEAN states.

“The ASEAN community can provide a lot of chances to people, especially youths,” said Sokha. “These chances provide future job opportunities.”

Sokha expressed worry, on the other hand, that young Cambodians’ lack of understanding of how ASEAN works will limit them from competing for these job  opportunities.

“ASEAN should organise more youth forums, and the Cambodian government should encourage youths to participate in them – and the government should address what kinds of job opportunities are available   for young Cambodians,” Sokha said.  

Oum Chanvetey, 20, a third-year student at the Royal University of Law and Economics, said knowledge of ASEAN will provide many advantages to both her and her fellow students.

She added that the more young Cambodians know about the ASEAN community, the more they’ll be able to prepare themselves to be qualified competitors among the international job market across Southeast Asia.

According to an article in The Phnom Penh Post on January 11, senior officials who met in Siem Reap as part of an agenda-setting meeting agreed to implement visa exemption in 2015 for any citizens belonging to ASEAN member states, in an effort to promote travel between the 10 member nations.  

Regarding this agreement, Chanvatey responded that in today’s challenging job market, only those with a good education – having completed a high-quality Bachelor’s or even a Master’s – will be the first, maybe only, to receive the best jobs in ASEAN member states. Others, however, will be unable to compete.

“When the ASEAN Community is established, many people from other countries will try to find jobs in Cambodia,” said Chanvatey. “Since they have a better education and better abilities, we might face being jobless in the future.”

Dr In Sophal, a professor of international relations at University of Cambodia, said that the university’s international relations curriculum primarily focuses on ASEAN. He stressed the importance of studying international relations, saying the field provides a necessary knowledge of how politics, economy and communication works within the international framework of Southeast Asia.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen rejects ‘rift’ rumours spread by ‘stupid gangsters’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday denied a “rift” among top leaders of the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), and rejected claims that Senate president Say Chhum and Interior Minister Sar Kheng were set to be removed from their positions as rumours spread by “gangsters”.

  • Huge 3.5-tonne ivory haul seized in capital

    Working with US officials, Phnom Penh Autonomous Port has uncovered almost 3.5 tonnes of elephant ivory hidden in a container, the US Embassy in Cambodia said on Facebook on Saturday. A tip-off provided to the General Department of Customs and Excise by a US Fish and

  • EU ambassador to Cambodia: Rights a ‘work in progress’

    The EU ambassador to Cambodia has called human rights “a work in progress” and said the 28-nation bloc has “carefully” noted last week’s statement by the government on taking further steps to strengthen democracy and the political sphere in the Kingdom. The EU marked

  • Assembly passes amendment to Political Party Law Article 45

    The National Assembly on Thursday unanimously approved a proposed amendment to Article 45 of the Law on Political Parties in a move that could pave the way for former senior opposition leaders banned for five years to return to the political stage. As expected, the 115 ruling