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Working Together to Overcome the Impact of the Financial Crisis on Global Employment
2009/06/15

Working Together to Overcome the Impact of the Financial Crisis on Global Employment

Through Active Response and Strengthened Cooperation 

Yin Weimin

Minister of Human Resources and Social Security of the PRC

 

Switzerland, June 2009

Mr. President,

 

At outset, I would like to express warm congratulations on the opening of the ILO Summit on Global Jobs Crisis. The summit has an important role to play in building consensus, strengthening confidence and deepening cooperation among countries in their response to the financial crisis and preventing the financial crisis into a global job crisis.

 

The ongoing international financial crisis has brought grave challenges to global employment. As the most populous developing country, China is also faced with the most serious employment difficulties in the new century. Employment has become a major task in our effort to ensure economic growth, people's livelihood and social stability. To this end, the Chinese Government has promptly and resolutely adopted a stimulus package for steady and fast economic development, which gives higher priority to employment, and implemented a more active employment policy to promote job creation in an all-round way. First, expand domestic demand to promote employment. We have made employment an important objective of the RMB4 trillion($680 biliion) stimulus package, which is expected to generate 22 million new jobs in two years. Second, ease business burdens to maintain jobs. Enterprises in difficulty are allowed to postpone and reduce their payment of social insurance contributions. For those businesses making no or fewer job cuts, we provide social insurance and job subsidies as well as financial support for training programs.  These measures are expected to retain 20 million jobs. Third, adopt more active employment policies. For enterprises to hire the laid-off, we provide them favorable tax policies and subsidy for social insurance. For job-seekers who start up their businesses or take up self-employment, we provide tax exemption and reduction, micro credit guarantee, loan interest subsidy and training. We are also working to create more jobs in public service. In this way, we help people get employed through various ways and in flexible forms. Fourth, enhance public employment service, providing free service in job searching and consultancy with focus on university graduates, migrant workers and the urban hard-to-place people.  Fifth, implement a special vocational training program. It is aimed at providing government subsidized, targeted training for employees of enterprises in difficulty, migrant workers who have returned to hometowns, the laid-offs and the new labor entrants. Sixth, promote tripartite dialogue and consultations among the government, employers and trade unions, and their cooperation to overcome difficulties. Seventh, improve social security system. We are working to increase financial input into social security, expand its coverage and raise its level so that more people will be able to enjoy basic social security. 

 

The above-mentioned policy measures have yielded initial results. It is estimated that for this year, the registered unemployment rate in China's urban area will be kept below 4.6%. More than 9 million new jobs in urban areas will be generated; 5 million laid-offs will get re-employed; 1 million hard-to-place people will be employed and 8 million migrant workers will be transferred. In addition, 15 million people will receive special vocational training. We believe that stable employment in China will not only facilitate our own economic growth and social stability, but also turn out to be an important contribution to global economic recovery and job growth.

 

Mr. President,

 

The international financial crisis is a global challenge. To overcome it requires joint efforts of the international community and calls for a stronger role of the ILO. I appreciate the Director-General's vision of putting employment promotion at the heart of countries' policy response to the crisis, and achieving recovery through decent work policies. I wish to make the following proposals on working together to overcome the crisis' impact on employment:

 

First, give higher priority to stabilizing and expanding employment in economic and social development strategies. Employment serves as the foundation for people's well-being. The international community should continue to take all effective measures to restore market confidence, promote economic growth and promote employment. At the same time, encouragement and respect should be given to countries in their effort to formulate their own economic recovery plans and identify recovery priorities in line with their respective national conditions.

 

Second, stay committed to openness and cooperation to promote job growth. To prevent the financial crisis into a global job crisis, the international community should strengthen cooperation, dialogue and experience sharing, oppose trade protectionism, work for win-win outcome through openness and cooperation, and create more job opportunities for workers of all countries.

 

Third, enhance tripartite consultation and cooperation among governments, employers and trade unions to jointly tide over the difficulties. We need to bring into full play the ILO's tripartism and vigorously encourage governments, enterprises and trade unions to strengthen tripartite cooperation and dialogue to jointly overcome the crisis.

 

Fourth, take concrete actions to protect the interests of developing countries and promote common development. The international community, particularly developed countries, should assume more responsibilities and obligations to help developing countries maintain financial stability, economic growth and employment stability in particular. It is necessary for international organizations to take such measures as economic assistance, technical cooperation and advisory services to help developing countries enhance capacity for self-development.

 

Thank you!

 

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