DID you know that enormous opportunities for business and citizens of Asean member states including the Philippines are foreseen following the Economic Community Integration of the Association of South East Asian Nations in 2015?

This was the projection given by Industry and Trade Department Executive Director Nestor Palabyab in the recent Free Trade Agreement forum in the country’s Summer Capital.

The anticipated free flow of goods, services, investments, capital and skilled labor of the Asean Economic Community is set to benefit Small and Medium Enterprises in the country just like our agricultural region, aside from strengthening the trade and investment opportunities of this new trading arrangement.

Asean is currently considered as one of the world’s fastest evolving regions aimed at fully realizing its growth with the AEC as its goal of regional economic integration by 2015.

The AEC blueprint is anchored on the creation of a single production and market zones enhancement of economic competitiveness of the region development of the Asean region to fully integrate into the global economy, and the promotion of equitable economic development benefiting all citizens.

Palabyab assessed the Asean Integration in 2015 is inevitable and the Philippines has to be prepared for that there is a need to be more competitive since the country’s human resources is expected to be tapped by other economies.

Employment generation and more investments need to be done.

Meanwhile, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority listed doctors, dentists, nurses, engineers, architects, accountants, surveyors, and workers in tourism sector that will positively be affected by the Asean integration.

Tesda aligned its standard of training with the standards of the Asean community to allow graduates to compete with their Asean counterparts.

The Asean integration in 2015 is targeted on the economy of Asean-member countries that will result to the free movement of goods, services, investment, skilled labor, and free flow of capital.

The Asean member states are the Philippines, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, among others.

One thing saleable among Filipinos in general is our mastery of the English language. And because of this, let's continue to expand our horizon by using our strengths for us and not against us.