At its National People's Congress in March, China revised its Constitution which endorses the Socialist market economy, thus more clearly setting forth its policy of reform and opening.
Economic reforms are now in progress thanks to adoption of market principles. In 1992 China's gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 12 percent. At the National People's Congress, the country made an upward revision of its growth rate to 8-9 percent from 6 percent set in the 8th five-year economic plan for 1991-95. Along with economic growth, average national consumer prices rose 8.6 percent, and some industrial circles express fears that the economy will overheat. In addition to wage hikes, there have arisen new problems to be coped with in labor fields as a result of the market economy. The emerging problems are a transition to contract-based labor from lifetime employment at state-owned firms, solutions to labor issues between labor and management in enterprises instead of labor unions' negotiations with the government, procedures to smooth solutions to labor disputes and unification and consolidation of the social security system. To cope adequately with these issues, the nation is presently consolidating legal systems.
The seminar, sponsored by the ACFTU, was intended to refer to Japan's past experience in solving the labor issues China will face in moving to the market economy. Akira Takanashi, JIL research director-general and former professor at Shinshu University, Nobuo Ishihata, JIL supervisor and former vice chairman of the Central Labor Relations Committee and Tomohisa Maekawa, chairman of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd's labor union, participated in the seminar. They lectured on "High Economic Growth and Development of Industrial Relations in Japan," "Framework of Japanese Industrial Relations" and "Ideas and Management of In-House Industrial Relations," respectively. The participants asked many questions regarding wages, higher productivity, management of labor unions and proposal of rationalization and streamlining plans in enterprises.
Following Beijing the seminar met also in Dailin.
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