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.
Comrades & Friends Reunite in Jakarta to Discuss Growth, Social Balance & Sustainability
After a year of planning and months of preparation, the Network of Social Democracy in Asia (NSDA) is hosting its 3rd Regional Conference in Jakarta, Indonesia. The Conference is held in collaboration with the Jakarta-based Institute of Welfare Democracy (IWD), the Olof Palme International Center (OPIC) and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) Indonesia.
The key focus of the conference will be discussing economic growth from the perspective of social democracy and how social democrats in Asia can offer a viable economic model as we anticipate the failure of the neoliberal model practiced by regimes across the region. The stereotypical perception is that social democratic parties cannot deal with the economy and only are only focused on social justice.
One of the objectives of the conference, therefore will be to position profit-oriented business activities within the framework of social and economic justice. And this is important not least because of the onslaught of economic liberalization in emerging economies where not only workers are faced with mighty corporations given a free reign by governments but national businesses, especially SMEs, risk being forced to go out of business by major multinational corporations.