Right labour market policies, the way forward in creating better jobs | Sunday Observer

Right labour market policies, the way forward in creating better jobs

Director, ILO Country Office for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Simrin Singh
Director, ILO Country Office for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Simrin Singh

Director, ILO Country Office for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Simrin Singh said it is important for Sri Lanka to have policies that enable the export sector to grow into higher value products and services and enable diversification.“The service sector is already the largest employer, and not the agriculture sector as it is still the case in most other SA economies. Here it could be interesting to understand better to what extent trade in services can create more and better jobs in the future,” she said.

Speaking at the launch of the report ‘Exports to Jobs - Boosting the Gains from Trade in South Asia’ compiled by the researchers of the ILO and the World Bank, ILO Country Director said, “The impact of globalisation and technological transitions on labour markets continue to be an important issue for Sri Lanka. It is especially important to ensure the right labour market policies are in place to ensure everyone benefits.”

The report has also put focus on globalisation and labour markets. “Even though South Asia has come a long way and opened to international trade over the past two decades, it is true that the region appears to be less linked to global markets than other regions in Asia.

In Sri Lanka, the apparel sector has been important for employment, not least for more female employment, but growth of Sri Lankan exports has slowed down over the past years. So what benefits could more globalisation bring to South Asia if any? Understanding the impacts of globalisation and technological transitions on labour markets continues to be an important issue for Sri Lanka. It is especially important to ensure the right labour market policies are in place to ensure everyone benefits.”

She said, many people around the world are currently asking what the benefits of globalisation are for them, for workers, and for labour markets and social systems. International trade opens opportunities for efficiency gains and productivity gains. But for whom exactly, where in the country and how long does it take for these positive impacts to become visible and pervasive?

The links between international trade and the labour markets in developing and emerging countries are not yet well known. And it is my understanding that the authors of this report have picked up some of these questions for Sri Lanka, in a novel manner and following the most recent research in the field.

The researchers are hopeful that the results of this study will guide the policy makers in designing sound labour and trade policies for Sri Lanka. 

 

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