The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a political and economic organization of ten countries located in Southeast Asia, which was formed on 8 August 1967 by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Since then, membership has expanded to include Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar (Burma) and Vietnam. Its aims include accelerating economic growth, social progress, and sociocultural evolution among its members, protection of regional peace and stability, and opportunities for member countries to discuss differences peacefully.
ASEAN has emphasized regional cooperation in the “three pillars”, which are security, sociocultural integration, and economic integration. The regional grouping has made the most progress in economic integration by creating an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 2015.
The AEC areas of cooperation include human resources development and capacity building; recognition of professional qualifications; closer consultation on macroeconomic and financial policies; trade financing measures; enhanced infrastructure and communications connectivity; development of electronic transactions through e-ASEAN; integrating industries across the region to promote regional sourcing; and enhancing private sector involvement for the building of the AEC. In short, the AEC will transform ASEAN into a region with free movement of goods, services, investment, skilled labor, and free flow of capital. Among AEC areas of cooperation, recognition of medical profession and qualifications are included.
Medical progress is another important factor which will lead all AEC members to the fruitfully mutual benefits. Thai government has envisaged and placed one of the utmost importances on Thai medical development to be the unique medical hub of Southeast Asian region.
Ophthalmology is a branch of medicine which has rapid progression. It holds true that many Southeast Asian countries have the competencies at forefront of the world-class quality practice. I believe that our strong cooperation at both national and AEC networking level will help propagate our AEC to become true.
In 2013, AECOM (ASEAN Economy Community Ophthalmology Meeting) was established base on the concept of Thammasat eye center ophthalmologists. Associated professor Sakchai Vongkittirux was the founding president with purposeful collaboration in making the unity of ophthalmologist in Asian countries and establish the AEC Ophthalmology meeting. The AEC meeting is intended to share knowledge, researches and the advanced ophthalmologic technology. In addition, this meeting also making our strong cooperation among Asian ophthalmologists, healthcare personnel, to prepare, share and generalize the effective and up-to-date knowledge among the group in the AEC era.
The AECOM meeting is an annual meeting held by the member of AEC. A lot of Asian and international ophthalmologists have come to participate to share their knowledge and making the great opportunities, peaceful harmony and future collaboration for all of ophthalmologists in Asian countries.
President of Cambodian
Deputy Dean of Ophthalmology
Department, Vientiane, Laos