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“The Urgency of Information Literacy In Helping Us Facing The Upcoming AFTA (ASEAN Free Trade Area)”

There is this one seminar I joined in yesterday, the event held by the students of library science about the important of information literacy in facing ASEAN Free Trade Area. The seminar divided into three sections and delivered by the three speakers . The first section speaker is a representative from ASEAN Secreatriat ( I failed to remember his name, though), let’s call him Mr. A instead, then, he briefly but clearly introduced us about what is AFTA. Here, in this section Mr.A explained to us that AFTA’s aim is to create a single-window market or an integrated market to regulate the process of import and export whether it is in term of services or goods. So, people from another country in ASEAN can freely enter the market in ASEAN countries without taxation. The jobs in services that required sertification for instances engineering, architect, medical professional, surveyor, dentist and accountant have the most advatages here, since they can apply the jobs in ASEAN countries as long as they suit the qualifcation needed in the aimed-country companies. The recruitment will be based on the person’s quality and skill, be it you come from Indonesia, Malaysia or Singapura, if you meet the company’s expectation you can be hired in that company.
The second section speaker is the CEO of Mizan publishing book, Mrs. Mutia, we went deeper about the topic, after the introduction about AFTA, mr. Mutia who is an expert in book publishing, talked about the big potential Indonesia has in AFTA, but she kept on questioning us whether AFTA was actually an oppurtunity or a treat for us –Indonesian. Mr.Mutia exposed us with the research done in term of human resources quality in ASEAN countries, because it’s the human resources that actually matter the most in AFTA, the big weapon of one country is not laid on its natural resources but in its human resources as what Mrs. Mutia stated and sadly Indonesia fallls in number 6 with the qualification as medium-ranked country when it comes to human resources quality with Thailand a level ahead, not actually surprising that Singapura comes up in the first position crowned as country with the very high-ranked human resources, with Brunnei Darussalam and Malaysia following behind. It’s not something to be afraid of actually, yes, indeed, we need to watch out and put a lot of effort in order to rank up our position, but since Indonesia is populated by over 300 hundred people it’s somehow understandable if we find it hard to meet the equilibrium point when it comes to human resources. Here, what Mr.Mutia want to emphasize is actually in the big potential Indonesia actually have, if we are not as soon as possible trying to gear up ourselves, we will lose big time in this upcoming AFTA. So, related to this point, she mentioned these 6 important things that need to take into account as it is important in helping us facing not only AFTA but competiveness in higher sphere which is global competiveness, those things are readiness (kesiapan), capacity (kapasitas), rapidity (kecepatan), competency (kompetensi), colaboration (kolaborasi) and commitment (komitment). The last speaker is lecturer in library science in Indonesia named Mrs. Utami, she gave us further information about the importance of information literacy in supporting us in AFTA. She as well explained about the benefits of being a lifelong learner, which are
1. Updating knowledge
2. Developing new skills and competence
3. Handling the constant change
4. Acquiring insight and foresight
5. Promoting social inclusion
6. Promoting freedom of expression and opinion
7. Creating highly skilled workforce and strong societies
To sum up everything, the insight I got from the seminar is definitely precious. Oh, and I got an oppurtunity to ask a question that landed me a new book, yeay :)!

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