With over 600 million people, the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is the third largest labour market in the world. The AEC is expected to create a lucrative market for the skilled workforce to look for work within ASEAN countries. However, Vietnamese labourers are still meeting undeniable hardships and obstacles.


Appota is a well-known app developer for smartphones in Vietnam. In recent years, it has been expanding its reign to other ASEAN countries and looking for Vietnamese employees in the IT field. However, human resources in this field are not yet up to the desired quality as the nation faces a serious skilled labour shortage in this area.

Expanding its empire has lead to other sets of obstacles for this company along with its employees.

Vietnam has eight fields in which employees are free to move around and look for jobs in other ASEAN countries, including dentistry, nursery, technology, construction, accounting, architecture, and tourism. After three years of this system, only 1 percent of the total skilled workforce has chosen to look for jobs in other countries.

Vietnam ranks fifth in the ASEAN Talent Competitiveness Index and 82 out of 109 countries surveyed globally. It is evident that Vietnamese workers’ soft skills are often neglected, therefore they rank relatively low compared to requirements of the domestic and foreign employers.

This has proven to be a great hurdle for the Vietnamese skilled workforce to overcome. Moreover, ASEAN countries should also be coming up with common standards on vocational skills. –VNA