Thailand's capital city of Bangkok. (Source: telegraph.co.uk)

Hanoi (VNA) – Thailand has always supported the building of the ASEAN Community and has accelerated the preparation process over the last couple of years, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs Vitavas Srivihok told Chinese news agency Xinhua in a recent interview.

According to him, several nationwide campaigns have been initiated to prepare Thailand for the realisation of the ASEAN Community, including enhancing human resources and language training, accelerating internal legal processes to be able to implement existing obligations, as well as anticipating the implementation of agreements over the next two to three years with a view to promoting the country's competitiveness.

The 10 regional member states will enjoy considerable benefits from the launch of the ASEAN Community, but the degree to which each country will enjoy such advantages may depend to some extent on their implementation of new ASEAN rules and regulations.

As for Thailand, the economic benefits will be "sizeable and wide-ranging", the deputy minister said.

As Thailand's trade with other ASEAN members increases, and with its strategic location, the country stands to benefit from a more integrated market and a single production base, Vitavas stated.

He added that the kingdom will also benefit from the next key steps toward full realisation of the ASEAN Economic Community, including liberalisation of trade in services, investment and labour mobility and many forms of ASEAN cooperation.

Kavi Chongkittavorn, senior fellow at the Institute of Security and International Studies at Chulalongkorn University, told Xinhua that Thailand will benefit from further economic integration, especially with ASEAN connectivity expected to link the North-South and East-West corridors.

Among all ASEAN members, Thailand is one of the most prepared for the establishment of the ASEAN Community, he said, adding that Thailand has been campaigning for the community. Officials’ training at the state and provincial levels in all government agencies started in 2013, with budgets worth several billion baht.

Thailand also scored high in its realisation of the three pillars of the ASEAN Community.

With the arrival of the ASEAN Community, Thailand, which is centrally located in Southeast Asia, can become a hub for trade, investment, tourism and logistics, Kavi said.

But to do so, the country has to amend laws and regulations that are restrictive to facilitate investment and trade with ASEAN members.

With greater economic integration, as well as increased and freer trade and movement of skilled labourers, Thai competitiveness must be bolstered, the academic suggested.

Thai workers must improve their skills to compete with those from other countries in engineering and managerial positions, among others, he said, adding that Thailand will see its tourism improve thanks to its better infrastructure and service industry.-VNA