1. The ASEAN Labour Ministers and their counterparts from the Plus Three Countries (China, Japan and ROK) convened their seventh Meeting in Ha Noi, Viet Nam, on 24 May 2010 under the chairmanship of H.E. Madam Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) of Viet Nam. The Meeting was also attended by the Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN.
2. The Ministers reviewed the progress of the cooperation under the framework of ASEAN+3 cooperation, and exchanged views on a wide-ranging issues relating to efforts to promote and enhance decent work for all.
Impact of Global and Financial Crisis on Labour Market in the Region
3. The Ministers noted that the recent global economic and financial crisis has adversely impacted the labour markets in the region. The impact may differ by country, but there were significant job losses registered particularly in countries whose economy relies heavily on exports industries.
4. Although the economy in the region is showing signs of recovery from the crisis, the recovery is expected to be slow. In this regard, Ministers agreed to step up concerted efforts among the ASEAN+3 countries which could play a key role in helping the region to sustain its recovery.
5. The Ministers noted that the 2nd ASEAN Human Resource Conference will be convened in Ha Noi on 25 May 2010 under the theme of “Human Resources for Economic Recovery and Development”.
Strengthening Labour Cooperation in the Region
6. The Ministers expressed their firm support in advancing cooperation in labour under the purview of the Roadmap for an ASEAN Community (2009-2015) declared by the 14th ASEAN Summit in March 2009 and the new ASEAN Labour Ministers’ Work Programme 2010-2015. The Ministers also agreed to address challenges in narrowing development gap in ASEAN and strengthen cooperation in promoting human development activities.
7. The Ministers noted the successful hosting of the China-ASEAN High Level Seminar on Social Insurance on 9-11 September 2009 providing a platform for ASEAN and China to exchange views on policies and best practices on social insurance systems and also challenges faced in their effective implementation.
8. The Ministers welcomed the new initiative of China to organise a High Level Seminar on Vocational Training to be held in China in November 2010.
9. The Ministers noted with satisfaction the progress of the second phase of the “ASEAN-Japan HRD Collaboration Programme for CLMV” which was launched on 9 May 2008 back-to-back with the 20th ALMM. Activities implemented in the 2nd year under the Programme include the Training Course on “Skills Evaluation System in Cooperation with the Private Sector” on 27 July – 7 August 2009 both in Japan and Indonesia. Following the Training Course, national seminars were also held in each CLMV countries from November 2009 – January 2010.
10. The Ministers noted that two regional seminars were successfully organised under the “ASEAN-ILO/Japan Programme on Industrial Relations” (AIJPIR). The 1st seminar was held in February 2009 with the theme “Towards ASEAN Integration: Promoting Good Practices for Sound and Harmonious Industrial Relations”. The 2nd Seminar was held in February 2010 with the theme “Emerging Industrial Relations Issues and trends in the ASEAN Countries in the time of Financial/Economic Crisis.” Both seminars provided platforms for tripartite partners to discuss various best practices to promote industrial relations, including labour dispute settlements, collective bargaining, social dialogue and responses to the current financial crisis. The Ministers also welcomed the 3rd Seminar of AIJPIR in the Philippines under the theme “Legal Framework and Practice for Labour Dispute and Settlement in November 2010.
11. The Ministers noted with appreciation that Japan is considering the extension of the AIJPIR to the next phase.
12. The Meeting noted the successful convening of the 3rd ASEAN Plus Three Policy Dialogue on Occupational Safety and Health Management System (OSH-MS) on 12 to 13 February 2010 in Luangprabang, Lao PDR, addressing OSH-MS for Small and Medium Enterprises (SME).
13. The Ministers welcomed the new initiative of Japan to implement a project “Promoting Employment Safety-Net Building in Asia” addressing the region’s needs in transferring the experience and expertise of employment safety-net, in particular, unemployment insurance systems, and building the capacity of employment service agencies which can implement the system in fair and effective manner.
14. The Minister lauded the successful holding of the 11th HRD Programme held in ROK from 25 November to 4 December 2008 which carried the theme “Challenges and experiences on mainstreaming labour and employment issues in the national agendas”. The Ministers noted that the event was very useful in sharing ideas and challenges in translating labour and employment issues in national agendas.
Next ASEAN Plus Three Labour Ministers Meeting
15. The Ministers agreed that the next ASEAN Plus Three Labour Ministers Meeting would be held in Cambodia in 2012 back-to-back with the 22nd ASEAN Labour Ministers Meeting.
List of Ministers or Their Representative Attending the ASEAN Plus Three Labour Ministers Meeting, 24 May 2010, Ha Noi
1. H.E. Pehin Dato Adanan Yusof
Minister of Home Affairs of Brunei Darussalam
2. H.E. Vong Sauth
Minister of Labour and Vocational Training of Cambodia
3. H.E. Sun Guoxiang
Ambassador of China to Viet Nam
4. H.E. Muhaimin Iskandar
Minister of Manpower and Transmigration of Indonesia
5. H.E. Tashiaki Ota
Vice-Minister for Policy Coordination, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan
6. H.E. Onechanh Thammavong
Minister of Labour and Social Welfare of Lao PDR
7. Y.B Datuk Dr. S. Subramaniam
Minister of Human Resources of Malaysia
8. H.E. U Aung Kyi
Minister for Labour of Myanmar
9. H.E. Marianito Roque
Secretary of Labour and Employment of the Philippines
10. H.E. Chae Pil Lee
Deputy Minister of Planning and Coordination, Ministry of Labour of the ROK
11. H.E. Gan Kim Yong
Minister for Manpower of Singapore
12. H.E. Phaithoon Kaeothong
Minister of Labour
13. H.E. Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan
Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs
14. H.E. Dato’ Misran Karmain
Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Social-Cultural Community, on behalf of the Secretary General of ASEAN