Labour market policy and high-quality development

ILO Symposium advances integration of labour market policies into macroeconomic framework for high-quality economic development

News | Haikou, China | 31 October 2023
HAIKOU, China (ILO News) — On 29 October 2023, the International Labour Organization (ILO) Country Office for China and Mongolia, in collaboration with the China Institute for Reform and Development (CIRD), hosted an international symposium on "Labour Market Policy and High-Quality Economic Development" as a special session of the 89th International Forum on China Reform.

As global economies demonstrate, economic upgrading for high quality development cannot take place without social and labour upgrading. The United Nations' guiding principle of "Leave no one behind" also emphasizes the equitable distribution of benefits of growth among different population groups is an important element for common prosperity and high-quality development.

Chi Fulin, President of CIRD, speaks at the symposium
China's aspirations to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (CPTPP) and other free trade agreements, coupled with ongoing economic structural shifts, demographic transformations, and labour market evolution, necessitate corresponding advancements in labour policies.

Labour market policy is a global concern, encompassing alignment with international economic and trade standards as well as the adaptation of domestic structural policies and institutions. We anticipate that our research on labour market dynamics will positively influence policy decisions."

Chi Fulin, the President of CIRD
Changhee Lee, ILO Country Office Director for China and Mongolia, speaks at the opening
China's journey towards becoming a high-income nation should entail not only cutting-edge technological innovations but also inclusive economic and social policies that could translate productivity gains into shared prosperity and providing universal social protection.

It is vital to have an effective labour market policy embedded in macro-economic and industrial policy if China is to move towards a high-income country with common prosperity."

Changhee Lee, ILO Country Office Director for China and Mongolia
Therefore, this symposium seeks to foster dialogue among economic, social, and labour policy stakeholders. It offers an international platform for disseminating the latest knowledge on pressing issues, encouraging interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary discussions, and exploring potential synergies between economic and social policies. Ultimately, it intends to aid governments and social partners in devising innovative, evidence-based policy responses.

Key speakers of the symposium
The symposium offers an unique perspective on social and labour issues to the forum and covers a wide array of topics, including
  • the implications of shifting demographics on labour market;
  • the impact of digital and platform economies on economic transformation;
  • strategies for addressing labour market challenges through a unified labour market approach;
  • good practices in managing an aging society inspired by Norway;
  • how skilled workers engage in technological innovations and the underlying reasons;
  • compliance recommendations for enterprises operating in ASEAN countries;
  • digital innovation policy and its effects on the SMEs in Korea;
  • new forms of employment and high-quality development;
  • path to improve labour's share in national income;
  • vocational training experiences in Germany and labour relations within enterprises;
  • labour policies and high-quality economic development in Hainan.
The symposium brings together distinguished scholars from universities, international organizations, research institutes, labour institutes, and business practitioners, fostering a rich exchange of ideas and insights.

ILO and CIRD collaboration

Throughout the years, the ILO and CIRD have engaged in a fruitful partnership, jointly organizing seminars and training sessions centered on the topic of "labour market policies."

Their collaboration can trace back to 1992, marking an important milestone when they, in collaboration with the former National Reform and Development Commission (NRDC), the Ministry of Labour, the All-China Federation of Trade Unions, the United Nations Development Program, and the World Bank, orchestrated the "fifth International Forum on China Reforms" from 7-9 December 1992. This forum played an important role in accelerating the establishment and enhancement of China's new socialist market economy and stood as one of the earlier high-level international symposiums focused on social security within China.

Historical photo of the fifth International Forum on China Reforms, Haikou, 7-9 December 1992
In recent years, the ILO and CIRD have continued their knowledge exchange concerning China's labour market policies. This ongoing collaboration aims to explore topics related to China's labour market policies within the context of the high-quality development of the Chinese economy and contribute to informed policy decision-making.

The 89th International Forum on China Reform and China Institute for Reform and Development

The 89th International Forum on China Reform, themed "China in Comprehensively Deepening Reform & Opening-up and the World," convenes high-level experts and scholars from both domestic and international backgrounds to engage in profound discussions and offer recommendations for the new phase of comprehensive reform and opening up.

Established on 1 November 1991, CIRD is committed to researching critical and pressing issues within the reform process. Their mission includes generating research reports on reform and proposing policy recommendations to decision-making bodies, facilitating the transformation of research outcomes into actionable policy guidance, and actively contributing to the comprehensive deepening of reform and opening up initiatives.