Are you one of those who deserve it, deserve ASEAN’s opportunities when you are ignoring it? Do you really recognize all the chances from ASEAN which benefit our life in current and future?
To me, before knowing ASEAN, ASEAN seemed that there was nothing imparting to my daily activities as a freshman in university. And I thought that It was all about diplomacy, meeting, policy, agreements which are the government’s responsibilities. And I assumed that ASEAN was not my matter “at that moment”.
Yes, It might be a matter in the future, but not now.
My dear friends! These ideas above of ignoring ASEAN make us slide down the slope and reject of the advantages and chances that ASEAN brings to us in the last 50 years. This year ASEAN celebrates its Jubilee but where were we and truly “exist” in the history flow of ASEAN?
After one year knowing ASEAN and being aware of an ASEAN citizen, I can not even believe that ASEAN has changed myself positively. It brings me friends, cultural understandings, opportunities, leadership, public speaking and communication skills. Six times going abroad through youth leaders exchange programs, in five countries Japan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, and Thailand. And the most important is that ASEAN is also a chance for me in raising voices and opinions to the regional issues as a young people that make me appreciate every exchange programs and youth summits as well as the role of the youth towards the community. ASEAN just likes a friend, who listens to us and understands what we.
As you see ASEAN is the community of opportunities if you dare to involve and learn about it. Let think, feel and be ASEAN since you are now a global citizen. ASEAN gives you chances only if you start from changing yourself today and step out of your comfort zone to the world.
A question is that “How could I find lots of chances from ASEAN and take part in various of its programs in just a year only? Well! the answer is just one-word TRY. I know all of you here know how to use google and search for opportunities not just in our region but also around the world. But have you ever tried your best in those opportunities? If not, Let make a try, you will find and understand exactly who you are and your position to the world and to ASEAN specifically! Last year, I have TRIED to join in ASEAN Youth Video Contest just because I wanted to challenge my self with the passion for video making and discovering the world. Fortunately, I won at the national level and was invited to the training workshop in Singapore and continued to win at the regional level and became the 1st winner of the contest. I tried and I did it. I know that every one of us, we have our own talents, skills, and knowledge and passion that could be used to make our country be proud of.
The contest also brought me to the ASEAN Youth Day was happening in parallel with the Ministerial Meeting on Youth in Jakarta. From those opportunities and from what I have encountered I would say “If we are brave enough to step out — your mission now, is becoming an ASEAN citizen. Being an ASEAN citizen is making high appreciation of its diversity. Knowing ASEAN meanwhile knowing its people, the more you get to meet and understand others: their value, their philosophy, their culture, the more you get to know about yourselves.”
It seems that we are like robots that close ourselves in the classrooms, but we do know or even care about what is happening around us, about our country and our region.
During the APEC week and the 31st ASEAN Summit this month, I realized that (Yes) We do care about things around us, we care about “Justin Trudeau jogs along HCM City canal”, “Trump’s awkward ASEAN-way handshake”, “Did Trump love Danang’s food? Or his car, his airforce, etc”… Those posts got lots of likes and shares on Facebook… How about the TPP? Why TTP-11 changed to CP-TTP, what are challenges and opportunities for us when Viet Nam signs the TPP agreement and What does TTP mean to ASEAN? What should we prepare for the 4.0 industry revolution which will make a big impact on the ASEAN Economy Community? Did you care about those? Where are we? Are we really “alive” among all the changes that affect directly to our future?
On 10/10/2017, a quick ten questions online research about the awareness of ASEAN and the preparation for AEC of students in Viet Nam aged from 18 to 22 was carried out by Tri Tran- a student from Foreign Trade University Hochiminh Campus. Of one hundred surveyed people, 30% of them have heard about the ASEAN without understanding, 20% of people are not really interested in the ASEAN community. That is why ASEAN’s opportunities could not reach to you.
And 50% of people know only about AEC pillar of ASEAN without any specific plan or preparation. I know many of you have heard and even have learned about AEC (ASEAN Economic Community) and ASEAN’s integration. There will be a free exchange of investments, goods, services, and people. Tariffs, taxes, visa requirements, and other barriers will be eliminated or relaxed to allow this free exchange. WOA… Such great opportunities, right? But Actually what is that? Google is a tool for you. Update yourself. No one here uses the same smartphones in the last 5 or 10 years, you all updated so update your self too about ASEAN.
Sharing with other friends from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand during my exchange programs. I could recognize that they have already taken opportunities from ASEAN and they have been understanding and preparing in choosing what they gonna study and even have a detailed plan to work abroad. How about us? How can we “live” among them?. Are we left behind, behind other ASEAN friends and the world?
We still get in stuck in the circle of studying English or defining our career. Others even don’t like what they are studying, they just want to finish it quickly with degrees and believe that degrees could help them be “alive” among all the regional changes and development.
ASEAN is a community that can give you unending opportunities but it’s also a competitive field to be in. If you want to be “alive” and make a difference or innovation in changing yourself, do it now. Let begin with knowing how ASEAN really means and how it works. Let’s make our own mark as Vietnamese youth and of course as a proud member of ASEAN because no one else the youth is the one who will run the community in the future.