In a Joint Communiqué of the 21st ASEAN Labour Ministers Meeting (ALMM), concluded on 24 May 2010 in Ha Noi, Viet Nam, labour ministers urged ASEAN leaders to enhance human resources deployed in recovering a sustainable pace of economic growth. The Ministers noted that the Global Job Pact, to support and sustain recovery with jobs and social protection “provides a coherent framework for shaping and implementing these strategies reflecting the particular needs of each ASEAN Member States.”
Recognizing that human resource development “has played a central role in improving the productivity which is an important source of improved growth and living standard”, the Ministers noted the need for increasing investment in education, technical and vocational training and lifelong learning. In this regard, they stressed the importance of medium- and long-term measures to build a workforce responsive to the job market through improved quality of education and skills development.
ASEAN countries have rebounded remarkably from the global economic crisis and many are recording pre-crisis economic growth levels. But they face key challenges, including rebalancing growth, improving workforce skills, rebuilding employment and – critically – accelerating productivity to compete with India and China, says the ILO most recent report “Labour and social trends in ASEAN 2010: Sustaining recovery and development through decent work”.
The report finds that while the impact of the crisis was large, the region is rebounding better than many predicted and is expected to grow by 5.4 per cent in 2010 compared to a mere 1.4 per cent in 2009. Fiscal stimulus packages and demand from China have played important roles in this.
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