Creating a communication platform to serve China-Africa friendship
With China-Africa relations getting increasingly closer, more and more enterprises enter Africa and invest in Africa. Within this phenomenon, how to build up harmonious labor relations and promote the sustainable development of Chinese enterprises in Africa? The China-Africa Trade Unions High-Level Seminar “Multi-National Corporations Labour Relations and the Role of Trade Unions” was held in Beijing on May 15-16. The Seminar was attended by representatives and experts of Chinese and African trade unions, enterprises, governments as well as the UN’s International Labour Organization, in an attempt to brainstorm, share experiences, and find the best implementation plan.
The seminar aimed at providing African trade union leaders with a comprehensive introduction to the achievements of China’s reform and opening up and the concept of peaceful development. It also aimed at introducing China’s practices in fostering harmonious labour relations, while at the same time creating a platform to help Chinese enterprises to better know African countries’ labour market, labour relations and the unions’ status, so to promote the sustainable development of Chinese enterprises in Africa and the deepening of China-Africa economic cooperation.
The All China Federation of Trade Unions’s Vice Chairman and General Secretary Jiang Guangping pointed out that the friendly exchanges between Chinese and African trade unions are part of China-Africa relations. This Seminar is a new attempt for Chinese trade unions to conform to the new requirements and expectations by African trade unions, and to serve the Chinese enterprises “going out” strategy. It is also about Chinese and African trade unions enriching the cooperation content and innovating the forms of cooperation to promote the overall friendly relations between China and Africa.
African trade union representatives one after the other have expressed the hope that China and Africa retain the complementary advantages, that more Chinese enterprises invest in Africa, that China provides more employment and training opportunities, produces higher quality products, and promotes technology development and infrastructure construction. At the same time they wish to learn the Chinese trade unions’ experience, the establishment of equal dialogue between trade unions and enterprises, effective communication platforms and modalities, so to achieve a social and economic coordinated, sustainable and inclusive development.
Among the representatives that participated to the high-level seminar, African trade union leaders mostly came from nine countries that are the most important areas where Chinese enterprises invest: Zambia, Namibia, Botswana, Liberia, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Tanzania, Kenya. Among the invitees there were also representatives of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Commerce and other relevant ministries, as well as the China Enterprise Confederation, a number of managers and enterprise union presidents of Chinese enterprises investing in Africa.
In the two days, the representatives will focus on the status of China-Africa economic cooperation, comparing Chinese and African labour relations experiences, globalization and trade union movements, how trade unions can play a role among multi-national corporations and other topics so to carry on extensive exchanges and deepen mutual understanding.
Editors: Shen Yaxin, Sheng Hui
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