ASEAN in Transformation: How Technology is Changing Jobs

Last week, the ILO released an ASEAN-wide report into the future of labor. At Collective Responsibility, we are proud to have been a significant contributor to the report series, specifically the focused research on the textile and electronics sectors in China and ASEAN.

ASEAN in Transformation - Collective Responsibility
The New ASEAN-focused report by the ILO. Photo Credit: ILO

The future of labor is assessed throughout the report series, with major focus placed on the impact of automation on the jobs of many within the region. The findings clearly show that the employment framework and the nature of work is highly complex, not just on a regional level, but also within industrial sectors. Through our research, we noted the changing labor demographics of China and wage increases to be a major factor in changing practices and decision making. For some, ASEAN represents a new frontier of cheap labor, particularly for low-end textile production, but for many, China’s mature and well-established manufacturing infrastructure is major factor in maintaining many operations within the country.

In terms of automation potential, the technology for both electronics and textiles is advancing rapidly, and in more developed regions with high labor costs, automation and robotics are beginning to take a hold within the manufacturing sphere. However, despite growing impetus from government and companies within China and the ASEAN region, the reality is that large-scale automation is still around 10 years away from large scale, industry-wide uptake.

All of these areas are extensively addressed by Collective Responsibility and the ILO in the textile and electronics sectors of this report.

If you are interested in the full text and series of reports, please follow this link.

For further information about our research and services, please head to our services and publications pages. To receive the latest updates about our upcoming research, insights, events, and reports, follow us on social media.


In addition to this research, Collective Responsibility is also hosting our next “Beyond Business as Usual” topic on the subject of “the Future of Labor”. If you are interested in attending, please head to the following link, or contact our events manager, Yuxin Wang ([email protected]).

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