Employers’ Organizations: Ready to Defend Small Business Interests and to Support Women Entrepreneurship

On 28 – 31 October, employers’ organizations representatives from eight countries - Cambodia, People’s Republic of China, LAO PDR, Mongolia, Vietnam (SRO Bangkok); and Kazakhstan, Russian Federation, Uzbekistan (SRO Moscow) met for an interregional workshop in Singapore. The theme of the workshop was very topical: “Enhancing Competitiveness and Decent Work in Small Enterprises in Transition Economies”.

News | 28 October 2003
The national (Singapore) Employers’ Organization, and the Singapore National Productivity gave an impressive overview how the country has developed a friendly business climate, and about the special role of employers and their organizations.

The ILO was represented by various specialists, for enterprise development, for cooperatives, for promoting business. One of the main targets of the workshop, to bring closer to the constituents of the ILO, in this case the employers’ organizations, the broad scope that the organization can offer to the constituents, was more than fulfilled.

In countries in transition to a market economy, small business is confronted with numerous obstacles. Employers’ organizations – defending business interest in general – are not always fully equipped to take into consideration these companies needs and interests. At the workshop, the better involvement of small business in employers’ organizations were not only discussed, there were shown practical ways (best practices) how this could be worked out.

A second, not less important issue, was the support of women-entrepreneurs. It can be seen as a concrete result of the workshop that the participating organizations not only raised their awareness on the subjects, but also came out with concrete proposals how this subject could be better dealt with in the respective national organization of employers.

The workshop set some priorities for the ILO-work in the sub-region that are based on the priorities and needs of the employers’ constituents. This will be followed up in the planning for the decent work in the next biennium.