APEC Voices of the Future Program is a unique program that not only brings youth from the 21 economies across the pacific rim together, but to meet and greet various business and economic leaders. The program allowed me to gain an insight into timely topics about human resources development in the digital age and how to achieve an inclusive development through economic integration. Meeting Ministry of Foreign Affairs and ABAC Japan Support Council ahead of the conference was also helpful to gain insightful knowledge about the recent events such as TPP11 negotiations, Japan – US relations, and RCEP.
The program had a profound impact on how I see the fourth-industrialization and the emerging digital world that will shape the coming Asia-Pacific region. I had an opportunity to discuss about ‘human resource development in the digital age’ with the bright youths from diverse backgrounds; from high school students to young civil engineers, from legal studies major to international studies, to environmental studies. During the discussion, which entailed frequent constructive feedback from others, we learnt about the importance of utilizing ICT education and vocational training for the society. Supply of human capital must be developed through public and private partnerships (PPP) to cater to the needs for the future demand of job creation, but also to retrain those workers who will be placed out of jobs in the next decade. I believe that, the APEC Voices of the Future is a stimulating and mind-opening program that essential gives youth a unified voice as a stakeholder of the society and shape us to become the next global leaders of the future generation.
During the APEC CEO Summit, we had the opportunity to hear a panel discussion, in which, OECD Deputy Secretary General Kono emphasized the importance of facilitating STEM skills for the population, and the role of government and industries in narrowing the skills gap. In particular, he emphasized that “Having the right policies for the right target” will be needed to help labour upscale and switch jobs, as well as having the right social welfare system as a safety net for the unemployed. The opportunity to meet OECD DSG Kono, as well as Mr. Bohmer, and Ms. Crane, was a highlight of our Vietnam journey, since we had a fruitful time in learning about the current focus of OECD, Vietnam as a strategic interest within South East Asia, and the working environment in government and international institutions.
Lastly, I would like to express my gratitude Ms. Ohno, Professor Nishizawa and Professor Yuyama from Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Tokyo for supporting us throughout the program.
(Written by Miyuki Tsuru, 2nd year, CAMPUS Asia)