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Engineers prepare for Asean intergration

Publication Date : 18-06-2014


To prepare themselves for opportunities in the coming Asean Economic Community, the region’s engineers are looking to pool together talent, knowledge and resources in the coming future.

In an interview with The Brunei Times, the secretary-general of the Asean Federation of Engineering Organisations (AFEO) Lim Chow Hock explained that they are looking to be well-positioned and prepared to engage regional institutions on two levels, following the launch of the AEC in 2015 and beyond.

The first is by aggressively engaging in close dialogue with the Asean Secretariat.

“We will talk to them about our strengths and where we can contribute,” he said.

The second is that on an individual country member level, if a government requests an engineering institution to come up with proposals, it should be ready to respond positively, he said, adding that AFEO is encouraging its members to be able to do so.

To better engage stakeholders on these two levels, during the 13th mid-term meeting of AFEO retreat session held recently and following the governing board meeting, the organisation is looking at a number of strategies that would pool talent, knowledge and resources of the region’s engineers.

The first involves changes to their annual conference.

This year’s conference will be held in November in Yangon, Myanmar with the theme “Integrated Solutions for Energy, Transport and Infrastructure”.

“We feel that from now on, every time we have a conference we will come forward with a declaration,” he said.

“What will be known as the Yangon Declaration will address how we will strengthen cooperation between the engineering fraternities in the Asean region while addressing current and common engineering issues faced within the Asean countries,” he said.

He said that this would be the first time the organisation has issued a declaration after their conference.

“Within this context, we will liaise closely with the Asean secretariat to relook at what are the pertinent priority areas we should be addressing on,” he said.

Their conference will also start devoting a substantial portion to business matching, in order to engage more of the private sector.

This follows along another initiative he highlighted, which is to try to bring together regional consultancy services together to form joint ventures through the AFEO platform.

He said that they will be looking into specific areas of engineering consultancy, such as certain types of infrastructure and bring regional expertise to collaborate.

Another new proposal was to develop a central repository of data on experts, entrepreneurs and infrastructure projects and works in all member countries set at the secretariat level, which is currently based in Kuala Lumpur.

“Individual countries have their own information list of all expert people and infrastructure works within their country,” Lim said.

This new repository will hope to list all experts in various fields of engineering as well as entrepreneurs and what trade skills or services they are engaged in, including consultancy.

This repository will help strengthen and update their existing Asean Engineers Register, which has been in existence for over 10 years, he said.

He said that he hope the repository will be made available on their website.

Lim said the organisation will start preparing ‘position papers’ to help the government address engineering issues.

 The position papers will have some technical content, but will also have policy and strategy matters incorporated into a proposed action plan. These will be proposed by individual members to AFEO.

AFEO has existed for more than 30 years. Lim said it’stime to look at the engineering profession not just as “great builders” but as “great movers” as well.



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