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Memorandum of Understanding

ILO-China strategic partnership consolidated with MOU renewal

On the eve of ILO’s centenary and the 40th anniversary of China’s Reform and Opening-up Initiative, the ILO and the MOHRSS are re-defining their cooperation as a strategic partnership on the basis of important achievements made particularly in the last 15 years.

Press release | 06 September 2016
BEIJING (ILO News) – The International Labour Organization (ILO) and China’s Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MoHRSS) have signed a new Memorandum of Understanding defining their cooperation as a strategic partnership.

At the signing ceremony in Beijing, the ILO Director-General Guy Ryder said: “The world and China are being transformed by profound innovation and technological advancement, demographic and geo-economic changes in the patterns of production and consumption. These developments require the ILO and the MOHRSS to renew their strategic approaches on the basis of common values and common interest.”

Speaking at the event, Yin Weimin, Minister of MOHRSS said: “Great changes have taken place in the world economy and the world of work since the MOU was signed in 2001. Over the past 15 years, China has made remarkable achievements in the field of employment of employment creation, social protection and industrial relations with the excellent support from the ILO.” The Minister added that: “China has become the second largest economy in the world now. Therefore it is high time to sign this new MOU in order to consolidate and scale up our cooperation to promote decent work and address the challenges together.”

As China comes to terms with the challenges of economic transformation in pursuit of quality growth, its experience is becoming increasingly invaluable for developing countries around the world in realizing the 2030 Agenda."

Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General
The first MoU between China and the ILO, signed in 2001, strengthened collaboration in order to develop labour market policies to guide China’s transition from a centrally planned to a market economy. The new MoU establishes a partnership in realizing the common objectives of promoting social justice, decent work and fair globalization in a world marked by deepening economic integration, rapid economic and social transformation and a pressing need for quality job creation and global policy coherence.

The strategic partnership aims to achieve: effective promoting of common interest areas of social justice, decent work and fair globalization in multilateral fora (UN/SDGs, G20, BRICS); leveraging China’s experience in job creation and poverty alleviation by expanding South–South and Triangular cooperation; supporting China’s global engagement; supporting China’s reform process towards a new normal that puts people at the centre of a sustainable growth strategy; and supporting tripartism and policy coherence between government agencies.

“Today, we mark a new beginning in our partnership,” Ryder said. “China has become a leader on the global scene. Its culture and commerce are once again going global. And as China comes to terms with the challenges of economic transformation in pursuit of quality growth, its experience is becoming increasingly invaluable for developing countries around the world in realizing the 2030 Agenda.”

The ILO and China: Key facts

  • In 1919, China becomes a founding member of the International Labour Organization.
  • China’s Reform and Opening-up policy in 1978 laid the groundwork for the gradual development of labour market policies aimed at the strategic goals of employment creation; social protection; social dialogue; and realization of fundamental principles and rights at work.
  • In 1983, China resumes its activities in the ILO.
  • In 1985, ILO Office opens a Country Office in Beijing.
  • In 2001, the ILO and China signed the first MOU.
  • In 2008, the G20 initiates Labour and Employment Ministers’ Conferences. The G20 recognizes that quality job creation is a key factor in strong and sustainable growth. Further recognition comes with the engagement of the B20 (2010) and the L20 (2011) in the G20 and the establishment of an Employment Working Group (2011) attended by ILO.
  • In 2011, the BRICS declare to strengthen dialogue and cooperation on decent work (Sanya Declaration).
  • In 2013, China and ILO launch the first South-South Cooperation project on strengthening public employment services and labour market information in Cambodia and Lao PDR.
  • In 2015, “sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all” becomes a sustainable development goal.