Philippines calls for 'upgrade of worker skills' in ASEAN

BANGKOK, Thailand – President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday, June 22, called for the upgrading of the skills of the workforce in member-countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), in support of the 4th Industrial Revolution.

"With the 4th Industrial Revolution, we need your support in upskilling the ASEAN workforce," he said in a speech at the Athenee Hotel in Bangkok, addressing the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (BAC) during an interface involving other country leaders.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is defined as another major era after the industrial revolution in the 18th Century. It is characterized by the fusion of technologies collectively referred to as cyber-physical systems.

"The ASEAN-BAC’s legacy project called the ASEAN Human [Empowerment and Development] is an important platform for this," Duterte said.

He also commended the council "for ensuring the dynamic private sector participation in regional economic cooperation and development initiatives."

"Your efforts to enhance the competitiveness of ASEAN [micro, small, and medium enterprises] to become more inclusive human capital development and public-private partnerships are most welcome," Duterte added.

The President also said he was "happy" with the ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network (AMEN), which was launched in 2017 when the Philippines chaired the ASEAN.

"AMEN can build the capacities of MSMEs as [engines] of growth of our economies. Sustained mentorship can help MSMEs transform into more globally competitive entities, generating more quality jobs for their communities," Duterte said.

He said he was also hopeful that the ASEAN-BAC, in cooperation with various business councils in ASEAN-member states, will "continue to strengthen private sector partnerships in the region as we move towards an ASEAN Economic Community by 2025." – Rappler.com