Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia's Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto and several ASEAN top-ranked officials discussed the role of third parties in the context of manpower issues within the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) cooperation.

The minister said in a statement received here on Sunday, the meeting was held ahead of the ministerial-level meeting of IPEF in Detroit, U.S. on Saturday local time.

The discussion was attended by leaders of seven ASEAN countries delegations, namely Brunei Darussalam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

During the discussion, the participants highlighted the roles of labor unions and civil society in a number of issues related to manpower in ASEAN countries and emphasized the need to forge consensus within the IPEF cooperation.

On the occasion, Hartarto noted that the mechanism in the International Labor Organization (ILO) could serve as a solution to overcome manpower problems by involving the roles of governments, companies, and labor unions.

"Efforts to resolve manpower issues within the IPEF must be in line with ILO's mechanism and carried out through it, by taking into account domestic regulations," he said.

Singaporean Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong confirmed Hartarto's idea, saying that the manpower issues are indeed crucial ones, which require countries to pay close attention and consider their domestic conditions.

Meanwhile, Special Adviser of Foreign Affairs Minister of Thailand Pornpimol Kanchanalak affirmed that his country is committed to handling such issues through the mechanism of ILO.

Furthermore, Industry and Trade Minister of Vietnam Nguyen Hong Diem conveyed his country's critical concern on manpower issues, adding that the condition of each IPEF member is varied in terms of measures to handle such issues.

In conclusion, the ASEAN delegates have agreed that the discussion on the issues of manpower within the IPEF cooperation framework must be in line with ILO's mechanism and it should be carried out through the mechanism, by taking domestic regulations as considerations.

The meeting took place in a warm and friendly atmosphere, as it became a forum for ASEAN leaders to align their views and strengthen the bloc's position in the IPEF discussions.

In addition to Hartarto, Indonesia was represented by Industry Minister Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita and Indonesian Ambassador to the US Rosan. P. Roeslani in the meeting.

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Translator: Indra Arief, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Sri Haryati
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