Representatives from member countries of the Asia Pacific Economic Conference (APEC) are merging fresh ideas and best practices on building up skills as they gathered on May 6 and 7 at Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea for the APEC High Level Policy Dialogue on Human Capacity Building (HCB).
The two-day meeting is being hosted by the Philippines through the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and the government of Papua New Guinea.
The policy dialogue on HCB is part of the country's hosting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2015, which will focus on the theme "Building inclusive economies, building a better world."
No less than Peter O’Neill, Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, graced the opening session and delivered the keynote address.
TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva said the policy dialogue recognizes the need to put human capital development at the core of attention to be able to have inclusive growth and sustain a prosperous and cohesive Asia Pacific region.
"APEC puts premium to having a skilled workforce as a key to competitiveness," Villanueva said.
"For people to contribute to inclusive and sustained growth, there is a need to align education, including technical-vocational training, to the skills requirements of the industry. Equally important is developing strategic approaches to enhance the productivity of medium, small and micro-enterprises, and to link them to the global value chain," he said.
The dialogue will tackle a number of issues in the three plenary sessions to be led by distinguished panel of speakers.
The discussion areas will emphasize how growth coupled with equal opportunity is necessary to close the human capital gap in the region. It will also look into the need to respond to the challenges brought by fast-changing technologies that affect the speed and complexity of knowledge and information flows.
"People are assets. They are worth every valuable investment of the APEC economies," Villanueva said.
At the end of the day, the goals of APEC member economies are for enhanced job generation, improved productive employment opportunities, and greater economic growth, the TESDA chief added.
The participants came from the 21 APEC economies: Australia; Brunei Darussalam; Canada; Chile; China; Hong Kong, China; Indonesia; Japan; Malaysia; Mexico; New Zealand; Papua New Guinea; Peru; Philippines; Russia; Singapore; Republic of Korea; Chinese Taipei; Thailand; United States; and Vietnam.
The results of the dialogue will translate into a Joint Statement that would chart out the future human capital in the region being the drivers of growth among APEC economies.