Ministerial Statements
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Human Resources Development
Beijing, China, 16 - 17 Sep 2010
2010 APEC Human Resources Development Ministerial Meeting
Joint Statement

1. We, the Ministers responsible for human resources development from APEC economies and Heads of Delegations to the Meeting gathered in Beijing, China on September 16th and 17th, 2010 for the 5th APEC Human Resources Development Ministerial Meeting under the theme "Developing Human Resources, Vigorously Promoting Employment and Realizing Inclusive Growth".
2. We are honored that His Excellency, President Hu Jintao of the People's Republic of China addressed the meeting and His Excellency, Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang spoke at the closing session. We support the President's view that inclusive growth is vitally important to address social dimensions of economic globalization and facilitate free trade and investment. We are inspired by the President's recommendations to promote inclusive growth through strengthened human resources development. We welcome the President's call for enhancing economic and technical cooperation in the area of human resources development among APEC economies and his announcement to launch an APEC Skills Development Promotion Project.
3. We recognize that trade and investment liberalization has led to significant economic growth, job creation and prosperity in APEC economies. We affirm our commitment to promote free and open trade and investment and to oppose all forms of protectionism. We further recognize that not all people in our society have gained opportunities and benefits from economic integration. The financial crisis has highlighted the need to address the social dimensions of globalization and regional integration.
4. We take note that the global economy is showing signs of recovery, thanks to the concerted efforts of the world. We are conscious that economic recovery is uneven and fragile and that across our economies many labour market concerns remain, such as jobless growth, persistent unemployment and underemployment, increasing numbers of discouraged workers and widespread informal employment. APEC economies also face long-term challenges such as aging population and increasing demand for a flexible and adaptable skilled work force. To achieve a sustained economic recovery and job-rich growth for the future, we must address both short-term and long-term labour market challenges.
5. We recall and are guided by the Leaders' declaration at the 17th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Singapore to "ensure that future economic growth is more inclusive to broaden access to opportunities created by growth and to spread the benefit of growth more widely." We are determined to carry out the Leaders' priorities to "put job creation at the heart of our economic strategy and enhance cooperation to address the social implications of globalization," and advance the APEC inclusive growth agenda by improved and innovative human resources development responses and policies.
6. We share the view that inclusive growth should be human-centered, allowing people to participate in, contribute to and benefit from economic growth. Rapid growth is unquestionably necessary, but for this growth to be sustainable, it should be broadly based across sectors and inclusive of our work force to create equal economic opportunities for individuals and businesses. Inclusive growth requires policies to create productive and decent work opportunities by high and sustainable economic growth and to strengthen social resilience through investment in education, training and social safety nets. We hold that inclusive growth will build greater consensus and public support for free and open trade and investment.
7. We recognize the significant role human resources development can and should play in achieving inclusive growth. As our overarching priorities, we will strive to create more and better jobs, improve social safety nets and enhance education and training to realize the objectives of development by the people, for the people and benefiting all people. We note the importance of involvement at domestic level of social partners through social dialogue in formulating those human resource development policies. We are aware that approaches to inclusive growth vary given the diversity among APEC economies and we are ready to share and learn from each other's experiences and implement policies that are best suited to our individual economic circumstances.
8. We renew our determination to build upon the Beijing Initiative on Human Capacity Building adopted at the High Level Meeting on Human Capacity Building held in Beijing on 15-16 May 2001 as well as the accomplishments of the previous four APEC Human Resources Development Ministerial Meetings and the 4th APEC Education Ministerial Meeting in 2008.
9. We will move forward on the basis of the Global Jobs Pact adopted in Geneva at the 98th International Labour Conference in June 2009 and the Recommendations to G20 Heads of State, where relevant, adopted at the G20 Labour/Employment Ministers' Meeting held in Washington on 20-21 April 2010.
10. Therefore, subject to the laws, rules, regulations and policies of the Member Economies, we adopt the following recommendations to guide the development of HRD policies in our respective economies and to create a framework for regional exchanges and cooperation that will help to achieve inclusive growth. We also agree on the Action Plan attached to and made an integral part of this Statement as a course of action towards inclusive growth and instruct the Human Resources Development Working Group to effectively implement it.
Devote Priority Attention to Maintaining and Expanding Employment and Adopt Employment-oriented Macroeconomic Policies
11. Employment is not only an important means for people to make a living, but also an essential way for them to participate in society for personal fulfillment and dignity. Recognizing that job creation should be at the heart of economic and social development, we firmly believe that the putting in place employment-oriented macro-economic policies is crucial to job-rich, strong, inclusive and sustainable recovery and growth in the future. We will strive to make job creation a priority macro-economic goal within and across economies, focusing on both quantity and quality of employment. We will give more attention to employment intensive growth, as appropriate, and call for consideration of those policies which strengthen employability, productivity and labour force participation.
12. We recognize that job creation requires the effective implementation of an array of policies to increase labour demand and improve labour supply. We commit to emphasizing pro-employment labour market policies. We welcome and support workers finding jobs through multiple channels, placing more attention on opportunities for youth, women, older workers, workers with disabilities and low-wage workers, among others. We will encourage and support innovation and entrepreneurship and the development of small and medium-sized enterprises, which are significant sources of employment in many economies.
13. We commit to fostering flexible, efficient and equitable labour markets supported with strong and effective public employment services. In economies where public employment services do not yet exist we commit to their establishment; in economies where public employment services already exist, we commit to ensuring that they are efficient, accessible and equitable tools for not only job-matching activities but also social integration at large. We reaffirm to establish and improve, as appropriate, labour market information systems and strengthen the capacity of labour market information collection, processing, analysis, dissemination and utilization.
Improve Social Safety Nets and Reinforce Social Protection and Employment Assistance for the Vulnerable Groups
14. We recognize the important role that social safety nets have had in addressing the social dimensions of crisis and will have in meeting the needs of vulnerable groups into the recovery and beyond. We attach great importance to the role social safety nets play as a social and economic automatic stabilizer, by contributing to aggregate demand, elevating social inclusion and enabling people to take advantage of market opportunities and share in the benefits of economic growth. Social safety nets also contribute to labour mobility and job creation. Giving due consideration to the actual circumstances and economic development level of each economy, we endeavor to improve our social safety nets through sound design and delivery. In economies where there is widespread informal employment, we will work to gradually achieve basic social protection for all.
15. We underline the importance of active social protection measures, emphasizing integrating social protection measures and employment policies. We will continue to implement social protection measures which provide those in need with short-term economic security and help them to gain employment to avoid long-term benefits dependency. Particular attention will be given to gender equality on social protection and employment assistance. We agree to take stock of and disseminate in a timely manner, innovative and successful social protection practices in our economies which effectively address unemployment.
Enhance Human Capacity Building and Prepare the Workforce to Revitalize Economic Growth
16. Faced with shifting demographic trends, ever increasing global competition and technological changes, our economies need to fully utilize our human resource's potential. Education and skills development raise productivity and adaptability of workers and enterprises, and provide the foundation for sustained, inclusive and innovative economic growth and employment expansion. Basic education for all is essential as a foundation for further skills development. We endeavor to support establishing and enhancing education, life-long learning and skills development systems for all to provide 21st Century knowledge, skills and competencies. We pledge to pay particular attention to the needs of new labour entrants, vulnerable groups and the requirements of entrepreneurship training. We encourage and welcome increased public and private sector participation and will better harness new information and communication technologies (ICTs) to enhance access to education and training opportunities.
17. We pledge to support those policies that lead to flexible and responsive education and skills development and help to address current and future skills shortages. We will continue to foster a stronger partnership between governments, businesses, social organizations and training institutions so that there is a better skills match between education and training providers and employer needs. We agree to take meaningful steps towards improving curriculum development and training of trainers, as well as skills standards to build a skilled and adaptable APEC workforce. We stress the importance of upgrading APEC's capacity-building to strengthen managerial and professional skills for both government and business sectors.
18. Globalization is accelerating industrial restructuring and bringing about long-term labor market changes, leading to the obsolescence of some sectors and jobs and the emergence of new ones. Crisis responses in some economies have also boosted a shift to a green economy. We will pay significant attention to the demand for new skills and will strengthen education and training to prepare our workforce with new skills for new jobs, in particular opportunities presented by green growth. We undertake to enhance cooperation among economies to that end.
Promote Economic and Technical Cooperation in the Field of Human Resources Development among APEC Economies
19. We stress the importance of strengthening our cooperation, exchanges and experience sharing to advance the APEC growth agenda, particularly inclusive growth. The crisis has shown us the significance of policy coordination, sharing experience and learning from each other. We agree to convene a Human Resources Development Ministerial Meeting once every four years for high level policy dialogue and encourage intensifying exchanges and cooperation among officials, experts, social partners and other stakeholders.
20. We call for strengthened economic and technical cooperation (ECOTECH) in the field of human resources development across APEC fora and economies. We welcome and support member economies to increase input and undertake initiatives in HRD ECOTECH activities, particularly those that support to build the capacity of developing members to achieve inclusive growth. Therefore, we support China's initiative to implement the APEC Skills Development Promotion Project and look forward to the subsequent establishment of an APEC Skills Development Promotion Centre (China), an effort to link similar centres in economies.
21. We recognize that achieving inclusive growth calls for more enhanced cooperation, including among international and regional organizations, as the United Nations, the International Labour Organization, the World Trade Organization, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and the regional development banks.
22. We will report this Joint Statement to the 22nd APEC Ministerial Meeting and the 18th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting to be held in Japan in November 2010, and we call upon the Ministers and Leaders to confirm and endorse our recommendations.
23. We express our deep gratitude for all arrangements, hospitality and efforts made by the People's Republic of China for the success of the meeting.