ILO and the ASEAN Confederation of Employers (ACE) held a Regional Forum to discuss strategies for greater organizational value and resilience

ILO ACT/EMP and ACE discussed strategic business issues, dominant trends, opportunities and strategies to lead and serve business in the changing world

News | 23 February 2024
The globalising risks of interconnected markets, climate change, the combination of young and ageing populations, the development of technologies capable of replacing human intelligence, the shift to a network and service economy, the concentration of wealth and growing inequality are all having a profound impact on people, businesses, institutions, economies and societies.
Against this background, ILO ACT/EMP and ACE held a Regional Forum of EBMOs to discuss organisational and strategic priorities to make ACE more relevant and ACE members more effective.
At the Forum, the ILO presented an ACT/EMP study on the impact of global trends on the ASEAN economy and preliminary results of the survey on the readiness of ACE members to assess risks and seize opportunities. The research findings stimulated a discussion on how EBMOs can advance their thinking to prepare their organisations and their members for the impact of demographic, climate and technological changes in the labour market and take concrete actions to future-proof ACE, and how ACE can enhance its value proposition to its members. The Forum also shared the results of ITCILO's research on the financial sustainability of EBMOs to develop a strategic plan to improve the financial sustainability of ACE members.
Deborah France-Massin, Director of the ILO Bureau for Employers' Activities, said: "In this complex and ever-changing external environment, EBMOs must constantly evolve and adapt. Regional and global trends, new business models, new ways of doing business and new ways of working are shaping a new business landscape. We need to rethink our governance and financial structure and expand our mandate and services to meet the new needs of the businesses we represent". She added: "To remain relevant and enhance the value we provide, we must continue to harness the power of representation and voice while embracing change and innovation.
Dr Robert Yap, President of ACE and President of the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF), said, "EBMOs should play a leadership role in the business community, providing timely information and services, and shaping relevant policies for business sustainability and continuity". To this end, he added, "EBMOs in the region should be financially sustainable to be a strong and credible social partner in our own countries". He also stressed the need for ACE to strengthen cooperation and cohesion among its members so that "together we can be stronger and have a greater voice on ASEAN labour issues as ACE".
The ASEAN EBMOs discussed the priorities of the strategies and thrusts to respond to the greatest impact for ACE in the next few years and solutions on how to successfully implement the selected strategy and thrust. The Strategic Plan was adopted at the ACE Annual CEO/Board Meeting, which was held as a back-to-back meeting on 24 February 2024.