APEC Calls for More Efforts to Build Skills

Participants of the APEC High-Level Meeting on Human Capacity Building Wednesday called for better efforts in human resources building to add momentum to economic development in the Asia-Pacific region.

In an initiative formulated by the two-day discussion, participants suggested that APEC should develop an integrated strategy for human capacity building, incorporating the training of professionals, provision of information technology, improvement of personnel skills and encouragement of creativity in the workplace.

This could be achieved through cooperation, taking into consideration the diversity of APEC members.

"Within the APEC agenda, human capacity building must be among the highest priorities,'' said the initiative.

It proposed comprehensive, widespread and flexible partnerships and networks engaging the government, business and education and training sectors in future human resources development.

The initiative stressed that cooperation in the region should bring mutual benefits and common prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.

The initiative also urged future APEC forums to integrate human resources development as a central issue and accelerate human capacity building to allow trade and investment to be freed up.

For the last two days, government officials, academics and entrepreneurs from the 21 APEC members shared experiences in human capacity building and conducted in-depth discussions on topics including the establishment of a "learning society,'' the promotion of wider access to information technology and the training of senior professionals.

The initiative, representing the cream of the two-day brainstorming session, will be submitted to ministerial meetings and informal leadership meetings later this year.

"Proposals and suggestions from the meeting will be an important reference basis for discussions at the October informal leaders' meeting and ultimately play a significant guiding role for APEC members in their formulation of human resources development policies,'' said Vice-Premier Qian Qichen, when addressing the closing ceremony of the meeting.

The two-day meeting, the first of its kind in APEC history, was convened at a time when human capacity building has attracted increasing attention as a way of achieving sustainable economic development.

"Everybody has identified human capacity building as the centrepiece of what we need to do if we want to succeed in this new world,'' said Claire M. Morris, deputy minister of Human Resources Development Canada. "The fact that it was shared by every economy around the table is very important.''

"Participants of the meeting have acknowledged the fundamental, strategic and decisive role of human capacity building in economic development,'' said China's Vice-Minister of Personnel Hou Jianliang. "The meeting has helped APEC members clarify the direction and goals of human resource cooperation.''

As well as calling for enhanced international cooperation engaging governments, academic institutions and business sectors, there have also been discussions that developed countries should help developing ones in human resources building, according to Hou.

(China Daily 05/17/2001)

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