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New report analyses labour productivity across ASEAN countries

In terms of individual Member States, Thailand recorded the highest average growth rate, with an
average annual per-worker labor productivity growth rate of 3.44 percent. Singapore (3.25
percent), Malaysia (3.18 percent), and Indonesia (3.17 percent) followed with similar average
annual growth rates of over 3 percent.

Olivier Languepin

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ASEAN promotes higher labour productivity for the region

JAKARTA, 23 February 2021 – Today, ASEAN Secretariat launched the Regional Study Report on Labour Productivity in ASEAN.

The Study Report provides an analysis of the current situations and concepts of labour productivity across ASEAN Member States and looks into the feasibility of developing a regional labour productivity index contextual to ASEAN.

In terms of individual Member States, Thailand recorded the highest average growth rate, with an
average annual per-worker labor productivity growth rate of 3.44 percent. Singapore (3.25
percent), Malaysia (3.18 percent), and Indonesia (3.17 percent) followed with similar average
annual growth rates of over 3 percent.

As of 2017, Singapore achieved the best performance of human capital among the member countries, followed by Viet Nam, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand

Representatives from ASEAN Member States’ labour ministries, International Labour Organization, ASEAN Confederation of Employers, ASEAN Trade Union Council and Asian Productivity Organization (APO) joined the virtual launching and dissemination of findings in the Study Report.

In his remarks, Deputy Secretary-General for ASEAN Socio Cultural Community Kung Phoak underlined the importance of labour productivity in ensuring a sustainable economy of the region.

“Against the backdrop of the changing world of work, digitalisation of economies, globalisation and aging populations, effective strategies to improve labour productivity are needed. The Study Report provides useful analysis and recommendations in this regard”, DSG Kung Phoak added.

In the same vein, Secretary-General of APO AKP Mochtan highlighted that human capital should play a more central role in labour productivity growth. The Study Report recommends for greater investment on skills advancement of human resources and promotion of life-long learning culture, including in-service trainings, to support long-term labour productivity growth.

The Regional Study on Labour Productivity in ASEAN is a project in the Senior Labour Officials Meeting’s Working Group on Progressive Labour Practices to Enhance the Competitiveness (SLOM-WG) Work Plan 2016-2020.

The Study was completed with support of the Asian Productivity Organization. It is available here.

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