ILO and MOHRSS of China join hands to enhance South-South Cooperation and employment policymaking in Southeast Asia

The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS) of China launch a project to promote South-South Cooperation for full and high-quality employment in Southeast Asia. 

BANGKOK, Thailand (ILO News) – Within the context of increasing pressure on labour markets in Southeast Asia and the lasting economic impact of COVID-19, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS) of China have launched a project to promote South-South Cooperation between countries in Southeast Asia and China in the areas of high-quality employment, public employment services and entrepreneurship development.  

This collaboration between ILO and MOHRSS through the project, “Promoting the Global Development Initiative with a Focus on South-South Cooperation in Employment in ASEAN” (ProSSCE-ASEAN), leverages knowledge generation and sharing, policy dialogue and capacity development to support policymakers in addressing labour market issues in Southeast Asia and promoting employment policies and opportunities for decent work. The project will facilitate the sharing of good practices and lessons learned between countries in the ASEAN region and China through a regional knowledge sharing network to ensure productive employment and decent work for all.

“Collaboration serves as the foundation for progress in addressing labour market issues. The ILO is delighted to launch this project in partnership with MOHRSS of China and ILO constituents in the ASEAN region to help address significant employment challenges and to develop a new generation of employment policies and strategies that can contribute to a human-centred recovery as well as more equitable and just societies,” said Chihoko Asada-Miyakawa, ILO’s Assistant Director-General and Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific.  

The launch event brought together policymakers and social partners from Southeast Asia in Bangkok, Thailand for a two-day seminar aimed at addressing employment challenges in the region. It was the first in a series of regional dialogues under the framework of this project that will foster collaboration, peer learning, and knowledge exchange among policymakers and social partners in China and Southeast Asia.

The event was attended by  senior officials from the Ministry of Labour of China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

With US$1 million in funding from China for 2023, the initial phase of the ProSSCE-ASEAN project will encompass pilot interventions in Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand and Viet Nam. It will subsequently expand to include other Southeast Asian countries in the future.

In Cambodia, the project will work with  the Ministry of Economy and Finance Cambodia, to implement training programs based on the ILO’s Start and Improve Your Business Programme (SIYB) methodology. These initiatives are designed to enhance the managerial skills of entrepreneurs in the country, with a particular focus on empowering young entrepreneurs who aspire to capitalize on the growing Cambodian economy.   

In Indonesia, the project and the ILO country office will partner with the Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration to deliver training to provincial-level counsellors in public employment services. The objective is to strengthen their ability to provide guidance to job seekers, particularly youth and women. In Thailand, the project will collaborate with the Ministry of Labour to enhance public employment centres, aimed at providing tailored services to youth in the country. Additionally, the project will facilitate the exchange of knowledge to strengthen the design and implementation of policies related to public employment services. 

In Viet Nam, the project will assist policymakers and ILO constituents in evaluating existing entrepreneurship programs, with the objective of providing recommendations for the policy dialogue process, as well as for designing and implementing entrepreneurship policies. These aim to create more decent jobs, especially for youth.  

This project builds on the expertise and experience of MOHRSS of China and the ILO in implementing South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC) projects in the ASEAN region since 2012 where they have established a strong record of cooperation in the fields of human resources and social security. The SSTC approach facilitates the exchange of knowledge and best practices among developing countries.


For media enquiries, please contact Tarinee Youkhaw, Advocacy & Knowledge Management Officer, at