The impacts of the 2015 formation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) on the lives of citizens in Vietnam and the entire region was the main focus of a policy dialogue held in Hanoi on September 4.

The event was jointly organised by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on the sidelines of the 6 th APEC Human Resources Development Ministerial Meeting.

It provided an opportunity for representatives from Vietnam and international organisations to discuss the country’s comprehensive international integration policy, which focusses on regional and global economic integration.

The dialogue also helped Vietnam grasp the potential impact of the ASEAN Community on the region’s labour market.

New study conducted by the ILO, the ADB and the ASEAN Secretariat shows that the AEC will boost Vietnam’s GDP and employment rate by 14.5 percent and 10.5 percent, respectively.

Economic integration will also generate an additional 14 million jobs in the ASEAN region, thus improving the lives of its 600 million citizens.

The study also predicts an increasing demand for skilled labour in the construction, transport, garment and textiles, and food processing industries, suggesting members of the workforce seize this opportunity and refresh skills required in these sectors.

To take full advantage of the deep and broad economic integration, participants suggested ASEAN member states cooperate closely to manage the economic restructuring process effectively, promote common interests and boost regional connectivity.

They said Vietnam should prioritise measures to increase labour productivity and the quality of the workforce in agriculture, diversify jobs in new manufacturing sectors, expand social welfare, and improve the education and training system.

Participants also stressed the need for the country to better protect migrant workers and find ways to recognise their skills.-VNA