In a globalized world, the exchange of ideas and best practices plays a crucial role in shaping good and socially just policies. From 20 to 24 November 2023, FES Ethiopia and ILO Ethiopia organized a learning visit to Vietnam for an Ethiopian delegation consisting of different government ministries as well as employees’ and employers’ confederations, seeking insights into the establishment and implementation of minimum wage structures. This cross-cultural exchange aimed to foster collaboration in similar economic contexts and to enrich the understanding of fair labour practices.
Ethiopia, with its expanding economy, has a growing interested on addressing labour issues and ensuring decent working conditions for its workforce. The South-to-South exchange saw the Ethiopian delegation engaging with Vietnamese government institutions, labour experts, employers’ representatives, research institutes and international organizations to study the intricacies of their minimum wage framework.
Key takeaways from the learning visit were the need for Tripartite Collaboration: Vietnam's success in establishing and adjusting minimum wages is attributed to the tripartite collaboration involving the government, employers, and workers. This holistic approach ensures that the interests of all stakeholders are considered, leading to more balanced and sustainable policies. Regular Review Mechanisms: conducting regular reviews of the minimum wage, importance of adapting wage structures to economic conditions and the cost of living, ensuring that workers' purchasing power remains intact. Data/research backed policy implementations: collaboration between Vietnam’s research institutes and policy makers ensuring effective execution in addressing challenges based on scientific studies while also involving clear communication, monitoring and evaluation is very commendable. With a strong focus on creating a good environment for its workforce and the premise to see the workforce at the center for its development, Vietnam has been a good sample for Ethiopia.
The learning visit by the Ethiopian delegates marks a significant step toward fostering global cooperation in addressing labour-related issues in the context to seek economic growth with fair labour practices.