The minister said in a statement on May 28 that the meeting was held ahead of the ministerial-level meeting of IPEF in Detroit, the US, on May 27 (local time).
The discussion was attended by leaders of seven ASEAN countries delegations, namely Brunei, 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 emphasised the need to forge consensus within the IPEF cooperation.
On the occasion, Hartarto noted that the mechanism in the International Labour Organisation (ILO) could serve as a solution to overcome manpower problems by involving the roles of governments, companies, and labour unions.
Efforts to resolve manpower issues within the IPEF must be in line with the ILO's mechanism and carried out through it, by taking into account domestic regulations, he said.
Singaporean Minister for Trade and Industry 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 Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand Pornpimol Kanchanalak affirmed that his country is committed to handling such issues through the mechanism of the ILO.
Furthermore, Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Diem conveyed the 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 agreed that the discussion on the issues of manpower within the IPEF cooperation framework must be in line with the ILO's mechanism and it should be carried out through the mechanism, by taking domestic regulations as considerations.