Mr. Phongthep Thepkanjana, the Minister of Education, presided over the opening ceremony of a business forum called “The Path Toward Becoming a Leader in ASEAN-China Trade” arranged by the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce in cooperation with the ASEAN Trade Promotion Association on April 29, 2013 at Thai Chamber of Commerce, Bangkok.
The Minister said that the opening of the ASEANEconomic Community in 2015 would lead to more freedom in trading and services. Some businesses and some groups of people might be affected but it is an opportunity for those who can adjust and change. The market will increase from 67 million people within Thailand to 600 million people in the ASEAN region. Larger markets also mean more opportunities and channels of trade. E-Commerce will be beneficial for small businesses for it saves them the cost of setting up a store and helps them access all groups of customers.
The Minister of Education said that university students and business people should have knowledge and expertise of languages, not just Thai and English, but also Chinese and other languages used in the ASEAN region. Possessing language skills will bring advantages to one’s business. Most importantly, university students should learn to look for more business channels, not just in Thailand but in other countries as well. They should know where to find resources and a variety of markets as well as knowing how to impress and create trust with the neighboring countries by showing them sincerity, good attitudes, and ethical trading. Sustainable business can happen if one does not take advantage of others and intend to bring benefits to both sides.
“I would like academic and business institutions to provide courses for ASEAN business leaders. We need cooperation from well-known and widely-accepted business institutions to enhance people’s knowledge, open their vision to the world, and give opportunities for them to build business networks in the ASEAN region,” said the Minister of Education.