On 9 July, Federal Minister Hubertus Heil met his counterpart Zhang Jinan, the Chinese Minister of Human Resources and Social Security, on the occasion of the 5th Sino-German Intergovernmental Consultations. The two ministers discussed the latest developments in the labour and social policies of their countries as well as multilateral cooperation, especially in the G20 context, focussing on the topics of the future of work and youth employment. They agreed to hold a joint workshop on the future of work in Berlin next year.
Federal Minister Hubertus Heil stressed that over the past few years the two countries had intensified their exchange of views:
Technological structural changes pose a major challenge for our labour markets. In order to safeguard our prosperity and competitiveness, we must ensure that all our workers can successfully respond to the changes in the world of work. Sound employment and social policies play a key role in this regard. This is the only way in which we can maintain social cohesion, which is in the interest of our two countries.
In the afternoon, the heads of government of the two countries watched as Minister Zhang and Federal Minister Heil signed an agreement on an intern exchange programme, which will facilitate and promote internships of young Germans in China and vice versa.