Promoting growth and decent and productive employment: the ILO

Promoting growth and decent and productive employment: the ILO
Dimitrina Dimitrova
Director ILO EECA Office in Moscow
Esteemed Minister,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to thank the Government of Kazakhstan for the opportunity to
address the Sixth Astana Economic Forum.
It is my honour to greet you on behalf of the Director-General of the
International Labour Organization Mr Guy Ryder who could not be here today.
The Astana Forum has become a major annual event to showcase
international exchange of knowledge and experience, to boost new ideas and
to foster international cooperation.
It is a privilege to be here.
This meeting takes place in a critical moment. At national level, deep shifts in
economic and social development are currently taking place.
At the global level, the financial and economic crisis has reinforced the change
of balances in the world economy and international relations. This crisis
started in the developed industrialized countries and is far from over. Indeed,
emerging and developing economies are becoming major drivers of world
economic growth, trade and investments
However, the prospects for recovery of the global economy are still rather
uncertain. The clouds continue to gather in many industrialized countries. The
danger of spillover effects which could thwart the development prospects of
the emerging economies is persisting in due to the inbuilt economic
Ladies and Gentlemen,
While the global growth model developed over the last three decades may
have served some countries well economically, it has also proven to be
unbalanced, unfair and unsustainable. It has created inequalities, new
environmental challenges and major decent work deficits including youth
unemployment. If threatened social cohesion, political stability and long-term
development in many countries.
With its 94 years history in the world of work, the ILO reacted immediately
and the Global Jobs Pact was adopted by the governments, employers and
workers’ delegates of its Annual Conference in 2009. This action was guided
by the sense of urgency as to the huge initial crisis’ effect on workers and
Since then, in a consistent effort the ILO adopted a series of key document
based on global tripartite consensus among which I will mention the
Resolution on Youth Unemployment Crisis and the Recommendation on Social
Protection Floor in 2012 as well as the Conclusions of the European Regional
Meeting of 2013.
Respected Colleagues,
The global employment challenge is high and mounting. Entering now into
the fifth year after its breakout, recovery is not around the corner. The just
released ILO Global Employment Trends Report shows unemployment rates
on the rise. Some 197 million people were without a job in 2012. Their
numbers is predicted to rise further to 210 million, over the next five years.
Compared to 2007, there are now over 28 million more unemployed people
around the world. Close to 75 million young people worldwide are out of
work, of which many have never had the chance to work.
Against the background of high income inequality inherited by the previous
decade, falling demand coming with high unemployment and lack of
consumers’ trust in the context of high uncertainly undermine further the
prospects of economic recovery.
The incidence of small business closing down is going up, especially small and
medium size enterprises that have no access to credit. Big enterprises hold
back their investment plans in the face if high uncertainly.
Having examined the impact of the crisis on employment, the ILO Global
Employment Trends Report 2013 finds that macroeconomic imbalances have
been passed on to the labour market to a significant degree. It calls for
decisive corrective policy action at national and international levels:
1. Better investment climate and job creation
In order to create productive jobs private sector growth needs to be
stimulated. This requires a climate which is investment- and consumptionfriendly. Among others, the Report calls for more coherent and predictable
governments’ policy plans; implementation of financial reforms to restore
the banking sector to its proper function of supporting investment and
providing credit. Policy makers must focus on the mounting problem of
youth unemployment.
2. Stimuli for global demand
At present, high unemployment is putting downward pressure on real
wages in many advanced economies, thereby lowering the support that
private consumption could give to economic activity. Wage inequalities
have to be addressed.
The growing purchasing power of the middle class in emerging and many
developing countries is a positive development that could increasingly
become an important growth engine for the world economy, not
immediately though.
3. Labour market mismatch and structural change
The length and depth of the labour market crisis is worsening labour
market mismatch. Targeted educational and vocational training policies
can help address this problem as part of a wider package of labour
market policy mix of training and incentives that help workers quickly
move to new job opportunities.
4. While the ILO does not hold the magic solution, it strongly advocates
tripartite social dialogue between the government and independent
trade unions and employers’ organizations as a means for find durable
solutions in times of crisis. Social dialogue is good tool to share
prosperity and even better means to respond in times of hardship and
decline when positions of the parties tend to polarize.
Since the eruption of the crisis in 2008, the ILO has been offering an analysis
about policy options. No one size fits all solution exists. Owing to the diversity
of national situations each country needs to find the policy mix which suits it
I am certain that the Astana Forum 2013 will generate a fruitful exchange of
experiences and help enhancing cooperation in the crisis ridden context.
In its 2050 Strategy, Kazakhstan has come up with a long-term economic
agenda and ambitious social objectives.
This year we celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the country’s accession to the
I look forward to the discussions during the Forum for inspirations in our
continuous cooperation and joint efforts to tackle the major challenges of our
Thank you.