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Thailand ready for AEC: poll


18:59, April 24, 2013

BANGKOK, April 24 (Xinhua) -- Most of Thai people believed the country is ready for the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) due to be established at the end of 2015, poll revealed on Wednesday.

Puntaree Issarangkul Na Ayudhaya, assistant director of Assumption University's Abac Poll, said that about 61.7 percent of respondents said they believed Thailand is ready for AEC.

However, 33.4 percent of respondents disagreed, saying the country is not well prepared for the planned regional economic community.

The pollster surveyed 1,525 people aged over 18 in Bangkok, seeking opinions on Thailand's readiness for the AEC, between April 15 and April 23.

Moreover, most Thais, about 80 percent, said Prime Minister Yingluck Shinwatra should give priority to the country's preparation for the AEC's establishment whose objective is to create a single market.

Asked about top priorities for getting the country ready for the new ASEAN community, 24.8 percent said the development of an educational standard nationwide, followed by improving people's abilities in foreign languages, particularly English (23.6 percent) . The upgrading of laborers' skills took the third place, with 18. 2 percent support.

Asked to choose the top three countries which they believed have the highest readiness and potential for the AEC, 34.5 percent pointed to Singapore, 25.7 percent preferred Thailand and 9.8 percent backed Malaysia.

Puntaree said the poll results showed that the respondents gave importance to the preparation of both the people and the country for the debut of the AEC.

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