PHNOM PENH, March 4 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia needs to build qualified and competent human capital to prepare for competition when the ASEAN Economic Community becomes a reality at the end of 2015, Prime Minister Hun Sen said Tuesday.
"The Cambodian government will focus its attention on strengthening education quality and technical vocational training that have yet to respond to and match market demand to ensure youth are worthy successors of the present generation and sustainable development of the country," he said during the 17th Government-Private Sector Forum at the capital's Peace Palace.
The premier said participation from the private sector was another important factor for Cambodia's preparedness for its membership in the ASEAN Economic Community 2015.
"Our pursuit of ASEAN Economic Community 2015 is comparable to boat racing that require paddlers at both the front end and rear end of the boat," the premier said. "Although the government, the rear-end paddler, might have the responsibility of steering the boat, but inputs from the private sector at the front end of the boat are equally important for direction setting."
He said the government has desire to see greater participation from the private sector in dealing with challenges faced by Cambodia in the context of ASEAN Economic Community in 2015.
Bretton Sciaroni, chairman of International Business Chamber of Cambodia, said ASEAN would be a region with free movement of goods, services, investment, skilled labor, and a freer flow of capital when it became a community.
"When the ASEAN Economic Community realizes, the bloc will become a single market and production base, making the region more dynamic and competitive," he said. "Therefore, it is crucial for Cambodia to prepare itself to make use of this regional economic integration."
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.