Lessons Learned from SocDem Asia 2010 Jakarta Conference
By Martin Manurung, Steering Committee of the Network of Social Democracy in Asia (SocDem Asia), Director of the Institute of Welfare Democracy
From October 19 to 23, 2010, social democratic political parties, pre-parties, scholars and activists in Asia gathered in Jakarta, Indonesia to discuss on “Growth, Social Balance and Sustainability: Perspectives for Social Democratic Economic Policies in Asia.”
One of the most interesting topics is the relationship between social democratic parties and the business community. It is easy to notice from the discussions, that social democratic parties in Asia are uneasy when talking about how should they ‘work together’ with the business community. Although history shows that social democracy is never an “anti-business” ideology, debates subsequently occurred on what kind of relationship they should create with the business, along with the main priority to put the interests of workers and the three social democratic principles; freedom, justice and solidarity.