The IOE's Asian regional membership encompasses national employers' organisations throughout South and Western Asia, the Arab States, North and South Asia, Oceania and the Pacific. The IOE has members in 34 Asian countries, ranging from G20 economies to developing and small island states, and crossing all major regional economic groups (ASEAN, APEC, the GCC and others.)
The Asian region is increasingly becoming the world's economic centre of gravity with the rapid growth of China and India redefining trade patterns, altering the regional geopolitical order and forcing business and government to adopt new strategies. Asia's succesful navigation of economic crises has further strengthened the importance of the region to the global economy.
It has been widely predicted that the world has embarked upon an "Asian Century", and Asia is already seeing the largest ever mass transformation of persons from poverty into work and into an emerging middle class. IOE members will be critical to ensuring that employment plays its part in encouraging Asian countries to seize their opportunities and realise their economic and demographic potential.
The pace of Asia's regional integration has been increasing over the years as nations undertake further economic reforms to maintain or increase their competitiveness and to capture global growth. Within the sub-regions, the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) which aims to transform ASEAN into a single market and production platform based on free flow of goods, trade, investment, capital and skilled labour, is expected to soon be fully established. This creates new needs for employers in the region to integrate AEC, especially in the area of skills mobility. More activities are expected in the ASEAN Confederation of Employers (ACE), which is a sub-regional employers’ organisation that the IOE plays an active role in supporting. Beyond ASEAN, the IOE also actively supports the Confederation of Asia-Pacific Employers (CAPE).
With rapid economic growth in Asia, increasing integration within countries in the region as well as their rising interconnectedness with the global economy, there will be more opportunities as well as challenges ahead. Employers must be prepared to manage the expected changes for businesses to ensure a business-friendly environment, some of which include making sure the voice of business is heard in policy discussions and in securing a pipeline ofqualified talent and skills in the region. The IOE works with its members to help strengthen the capacity of employers' organisations to respond to enterprise needs in areas such as productivity improvement and competitiveness, skills and employability, and SME development.
The IOE also works to support its Asian members to ensure that labour legislation and regulation properly back productivity and employment and facilitate formalisation of the informal economy.
ASEAN ECONOMIC COMMUNITY (AEC) - RESOURCES FOR IOE MEMBERS
For further information, please contact the IOE's Adviser for the Asia-Pacific Region:
Ms Thannalechimy Thanagopal at thanagopal(at)ioe-emp.org - direct line +41 22 929 00 08