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Vietnam Today

SCE Meeting & High-Level Policy Dialogue held

Released at: 09:53, 16/05/2017 APEC Viet Nam 2017

SCE Meeting & High-Level Policy Dialogue held

Photo: APEC2017.vn

SOM Steering Committee on ECOTECH (SCE) holds one-day meeting on May 15 as High-Level Policy Dialogue on Human Resources Development in the Digital Age opens.

by Long Van

The second SOM Steering Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation (SCE) Meeting took place in Hanoi on May 15 as part of the ongoing second APEC Senior Officials Meeting (SOM 2) and related meetings, the Vietnam News Agency reports.

At the one-day meeting, delegates from 21 APEC member economies noted updates on the implementation of the decision by the SCE on the Fora Assessment and discussed how to encourage more gender-related planning by SCE fora using the current work plan template.

The SCE also deliberated draft APEC Guidelines on Cross-Fora Collaboration and considered any Strategic Plans of the SCE fora, including the Emergency Preparedness Working Group (EPWG) Strategic Plan.

The outstanding annual Work Plans of the Policy Partnership on Women and the Economy (PPWE) and the APEC Group of Friends on Disability (GOFD) and the Human Resources Development Working Group (HRDWG)’s response to the recommendations of the Independent Assessment were also tabled during the meeting.

In addition, the SCE is scheduled to consider Russia’s revised proposal on convening the High Level Policy Dialogue on Bridging the Gap in Economic Development and Integration of Remote Areas for Sustainable Growth in the APEC Region during the third Senior Officials Meeting (SOM 3).

The SCE coordinates and manages APEC members’ economic and technical cooperation (ECOTECH) agenda, which was outlined in the Osaka Action Agenda. In 1996, an APEC Framework for Strengthening Economic Cooperation and Development was adopted to guide members in implementing the Osaka Action Agenda.

The objectives of the SCE are to support the implementation of APEC’s ECOTECH activities by prioritizing work based on the commitments made by leaders and ministers and overseeing the work of APEC fora; provide policy guidance on ways to contribute to APEC’s ECOTECH goals; and coordinate ECOTECH objectives and priorities between the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting and APEC ministerial meetings.

The SCE was first established as the SOM Sub-Committee for Economic and Technical Cooperation in 1998. In 2002, it was elevated to the SOM Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation. In 2005, the ESC was strengthened and transformed into the SOM Steering Committee on ECOTECH.

Also on May 15, the APEC High-Level Policy Dialogue on Human Resources Development in the Digital Age officially opened in Vietnam’s capital.

Photo: APEC2017.vn

In his opening address, Minister of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs Dao Ngoc Dung said technology and digitalization have made important contributions to improving labor productivity, generating jobs and developing new economic models and new markets.

However, they also pose a lot of challenges to the labor market and labor relations as there is a need for new professions and skills, he noted.

Seizing opportunities from the fourth industrial revolution and actively adjusting policies on employment and vocational training will be key to human resources development in APEC economies, the minister said.

As regional economies are making strong efforts to ensure comprehensive growth, focusing on increasing the workforce’s adaptability to meet technology development requirements, the dialogue reflects APEC’s commitment to strengthening and fostering regional cooperation in line with human resources development demands, he added.

Delivering the keynote address at the event, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam highlighted that human resources are at the center of development, especially in the digital age. The development of science and technology, particularly information technology, is setting new requirements and creating new conditions for human resources development.

“Technology not only helps increase labor productivity but also connects all people around the world,” he said, adding that it encourages individuals to affirm their personal creativity and value.

Mr. Dam also mentioned the fourth industrial revolution with information technology as its foundation, saying that the appearance of new jobs to replace the old ones requires basic changes in education and training, not only for developing countries like Vietnam but also all nations.

He stressed the need to ensure equal access to education for all vulnerable groups in society, inspire creativity among children, align theory with practice, connect schools and businesses, and, most importantly, train the skills necessary for a global citizen.

Noting the importance of making forecasts on technological developments, Dr. Alan Bollard, APEC Secretariat Executive Director, said this dialogue will discuss a draft framework on human resources development, the labor market, and social welfare for disadvantaged people, which will be submitted to higher-level APEC meetings for consideration.

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