“There will be jobs that will be lost and new opportunities will be created, so the thing is to find new opportunities,” Kwakwa told a Vietnam News Agency reporter on the sidelines of the ongoing APEC 2017 CEO Summit in the central city of Da Nang.
All economies are going through the situation that the work is changing and the way people work is changing, she said.
“If you go to quite a few of firms even here in Vietnam, you find that automation is happening a lot. A lot has been done by machine and not by human,” she said, adding “that process will continue and then you also have digital technology that allows people to participate in trade more easily and more efficiently.
People can sit here in Vietnam and sell something to somebody in South America just by using digital technology, and that’s very good and these changes will eliminate some jobs but some new jobs will come.
“Maybe you don’t have to find the formal jobs, you can work from your house,” she said.
“It’s exciting but economies have to prepare a quality labour force by giving people the right skills and the right tools to adapt to the new environment,” she noted.
Kyle F. Kelhofer, Country Manager for Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos of the International Finance Corporation, an affiliate of World Bank Group, said technology has improved skills and training for increasing better and safe jobs as well as e-commerce jobs.
It is important for economies to invest in people, skills and training, he said.
In a discussion themed “the New Job Creators” as part of the APEC CEO Summit on November 9, Duong Thi Mai Hoa, Director General of Vingroup, said robots and machines are now used much in many industries. For example, in the health sector, robots conduct surgery and in education, they teach foreign languages.
But there must be a combination between human and machine to gain the best efficiency, she noted, adding that people should be trained to master machines and technologies.
According to Chrystia Freeland, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, governments need to identify which jobs will be and focus on education to help people have high skills to meet requirements of jobs in the future.
Meanwhile, Nathan Blencharczy, Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Airbnb, said economies should offer high-paid jobs to people with high education.
In another discussion on the future of work on November 8, Nicolas Aguzin, Chairman & CEO of JP Morgan Asia-Pacific, said over 500 million new jobs have been created in a proper period of time.
“There has seen the biggest transformation in our society in the last ten years and lots of new jobs created yes it’s true that some jobs were lost in certain industries and certain countries.”
He also emphasised the need to expand education scale. “Today you have a capability of developing a system of vocational training and we can give certain people the right to training they need and the right jobs they are coming up,” he said.
People not only get knowledge from secondary school or university but throughout all of their life, he said. “Someone, 60 or 70, can learn today. You can go online and learn anything you want. It doesn’t matter who you are even with a smartphone,” he cited.
The APEC CEO Summit is an important event during the APEC 2017 Economic Leaders’ Week from November 6-11.
Established in 1989, APEC comprises Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong (China), Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, the US, and Vietnam.
It represents 39% of the world population, 57% of the world GDP and 47% of the total trade.