The challenges and opportunities of ASEAN social security institutions in the Industry 4.0, as well as the free flow of labour are both high on the agenda for the ongoing 35th ASEAN Social Security Association (ASSA) Board Meeting in Nha Trang city, in the central province of Khanh Hoa.
Assoc. Prof. Dr Tran Dinh Thien (Photo:VNA)
Assoc. Prof. Dr.Tran Dinh Thien, former head of the Vietnam Economics Institute, said that global digital connection through the Internet and other smart tools has opened up many chances for people to increase their general income, however, high risks are unavoidable.
In particular, cyber security risks and social security challenges are two pressing issues as the influx of new technology may cause the destruction of some especially manual jobs, it will also create further employment that requires new skills be learnt, he said.
“The requirements and conditions for renovation to social insurance activities will become vigorous and urgent,” Thien said.
He suggested that Vietnam formulate a digital transformation strategy and manage the system intelligently, adding that“the country shoulddevelopdigitally-linked infrastructure and cyber security and create digital human resources.”
Talking about the opportunities and challenges of the social security system in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Jens Schremmer, Office of the Secretary General of the International Social Security Association, said that Industry 4.0 will help promote social security, including expanding social insurance coverage.
However, the digital economy will also create new jobs which will affect the traditional ones, thus creating gaps in social security coverage and cyber security protection, he added.
“Social security institutions will make the difference,” he said, stressing the need to shape social security for tomorrow’s society.
According to Robert Palacios, Senior Pension Economist at the World Bank, in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, changes in the labour market are predictable, requiring workers to strengthen their capacity to meet market demand.
This also poses a question of human resource training and redesigning social security policy to increase the coverage by improving the relationship between employers and employees, as well as between the Government and the informal economic sector.
“This is a race between social security and changes in the labour market,” Robert Palacios noted.
Deputy Director General of the Vietnam Social Security Tran Dinh Lieu said that the information and experiences shared at the seminar will create a basis for governments and policy makers of ASSA member countries to improve their social security policies to ensure the rights of workers, especially migrant ones, to adapt to the new requirements in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
“It demonstrates a high sense of responsibility of regional social security organisations to ensure the practical benefits of people in the regionin accordance with the ASEAN Vision 2025 for a more rules-based and people-centred ASEAN Community,” according to Lieu.
The ASSA was found in 1998 following the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement in Bangkok, Thailand on February 13 that year, involving heads of social security institutions from five countries - the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. Representatives from Laos and Vietnam also attended the signing ceremony as observers. Later the year, the Vietnam Social Security became a member of ASSA.
This is the fifth time the Vietnam Social Security has chaired the ASSA Board Meeting. It undertook the chairmanship during the 2002 – 2003 term and successfully organised the ASSA Board Meeting in 1999, 2002, 2005 and 2010.ASSA members now comprise 19 social security institutions from ten ASEAN nations.VNA