On 5-6 October 2015, DG Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion of the European Commission (DG EMPL) and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) held a seminar gathering experts and policy makers from both sides to discuss the potentials and challenges associated to economic adjustment and changing employment structure.
The EU and China face common challenges, albeit to a very different extent. Both regions need to cope with the social risks of structural change. In addition, declining working-age populations and economic restructuring are triggering major changes to the growth pattern in both regions. With the demographic dividend declining and technological progress being more and more biased towards higher skills, innovation-based productivity growth will become an ever more important driver of growth in both regions.
For the EU, this requires more investment in human capital in order to accelerate currently sluggish productivity growth rates. For China, the pattern of growth is expected to change considerably toward its 'New Normal', characterised by higher resource-efficiency and more sustainability. China's future growth would hence be driven by innovation rather than the abundant availability of production factors at low price.