The future of work is now. And it takes place in Asia. In hardly any other region of the world can digital progress and the associated economic, social and political disruptions be observed more clearly. The social questions and the contrasts on this continent of superlatives could not be more severe. Double-digit economic growth rates over decades have raised hundreds of millions of people out of extreme poverty into a steadily growing middle class. At the same time, precarious work, sustained inequalities, and uncertain perspectives remain the reality for many across the region.
We support policy analysis and research that shed light on the complex present and future of work in Asia, with a focus on three priority topics: 1) automation and digitalization, 2) trade and supply chains, and 3) development models for least-developed countries (LDCs). What paradigm shift does it take to confront and meet the challenge of jobless growth? How to attain socially just upskilling and reskilling of workers for Industry 4.0 in ageing societies? What are the consequences of geo-economic and systemic competition? How do global and regional supply chains change through the crisis? How will reshoring and nearshoring as well as the downward spiral for the cheapest production and lowest wage costs shape export-dependent transition countries?
To answer these questions, we bring together a wide range of different stakeholders from government, civil society, trade unions, business and academia in Asia, Germany and elsewhere in Europe to exchange experiences on the impacts of unceasing automation, increasing digitalization and changing supply chains.
Jointly with our FES offices in East, South and Southeast Asia, we put the spotlight on the development paths, strategic choices and policy options of our partner countries. Our goal is to improve the understanding of labour markets, employment transition pathways and best-practices to support socially just, inclusive, resilient, and green growth.
Platform work is providing much needed employment to many. But bereft of decent working conditions, blue collar workers in the digital economy are... more Information
"For trade unions to be key players in this changing world of work, they need to understand and reflect the workforce they represent," argues Marta... more Information
The rapid growth of ride-hailing and other app-based services has changed discussions around workers' rights globally. A new FES research analyses... more Information
FES-supported study from Malaysia uses empirical data to illustrate and analyze a fascinating example of a country in Asia, in which the majority... more Information
Fascination with auspicious numbers is common in Asian cultures. In Mongolia, phone numbers have become a symbol of the widening gap between the rich... more Information
Since the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) came into force on 1 August 2020, Vietnam’s significant garment and footwear sector has been working... more Information
Migrant workers from the Philippines leave home full of hopes and dreams; unknown to them are hidden costs of migration that can break their spirit.... more Information
Together with Ariunzaya Aysuh, Mongolia’s Minister of Labour and Social Protection, we discuss the challenges and successes in fighting the COVID-19... more Information
On 11 June, Germany passed a much-debated act on due diligence in global supply chains. Frederike Boll writes about the power of alliances, the key... more Information
The China-ASEAN Information Harbor might become an impactful transregional Digital Silk Road project as outlined in the following analysis by Dr.... More
A new study by the Singaporean-German Chamber of Industry and Commerce in partnership with FES puts the spotlight on the changing nature of global... More
In cooperation with the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights, FES provides a new perspective showing how industry initiatives can help... More
How do blue-collar workers in Bangladesh assess their position in the platform economy? What can be done to make them less vulnerable? More
The COVID-19 pandemic has upended millions of lives. Lockdowns, large scale layoffs and community quarantines have fundamentally disrupted trade union... More
What is the role of digital labour platforms in the future of care work? And how have they been affected by the pandemic? More
With a spot-on description of the problems workers in the digital economy face today Astha Kapoor develops models that allow workers to develop... More
An analysis of the implications for Southeast Asia. More
This publications investigates the discourse revolving around the concept of Industry 4.0 in Vietnam. It explores the current Vietnamese perspectives... More
In this discussion paper, Dr. Rita Padawangi is contextualizing, reflecting and comparing the urban transformation of cities like Jakarta, Singapore... More
The study uses case studies to analyze the impact of urban planning on mobility and housing in Vietnam. More