On July 12, “The Fourth Industrial Revolution Promotes Industry Support and Rural Revitalization" launching ceremony was co-hosted in Beijing by the UNIDO Investment and Technology Promotion Office (ITPO) Beijing (UNIDO ITPO Beijing) and Tencent Group. Leaders of relevant national authorities and local governments, representatives of ambassadors and international organizations in China, executives of leading enterprises and innovative small and micro enterprises at home and abroad, experts from think tanks and research institutions to attend the event.
UNIDO ITPO Beijing and Tencent Group launched “The Fourth Industrial Revolution Promotes Industry Support and Rural Revitalization" Training, focusing on vocational education through innovative training tools and methods such as virtual reality (VR), social networks, online classes, and smart retail to empower vulnerable groups such as young people as well as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to help them acquire employment and re-employment skills, thus addressing the risks and challenges from the digital divide and COVID-19, and promoting industry-led support and rural revitalization.
In the middle of May, the first stop of "The Fourth Industrial Revolution Promotes Industry Support and Rural Revitalization" training was held in Lingshou, Hebei province. This event was supported by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and Lingshou County government and co-organized by UNIDO ITPO Beijing and Tencent. The training integrates business resources include Tencent WeChat, Tencent Classroom, Tencent Smart Retail and etc., providing opportunities for hundreds of local students to have in-depth access to digital employment skills, which has been recognized and valued by leaders of Hebei Province and NDRC. In the future, such trainings will be held in other regions in China such as Yan’an in Shanxi province, Yiwu in Zhejiang province, Dangshan in Anhui province and Dege in Sichuan province, etc. Besides, the training will be spread to other developing countries including Cambodia, Laos, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, etc., and a wider range of knowledge sharing on platforms with international influence will be pushed forward. In the next stage, ITPO Beijing will further deepen cooperation with ministries and commissions such as the NDRC, local governments and knowledge partners, and release relevant research reports and case sets.
At the launching ceremony, Dr. Gong Weixi, Coordinator of Investment and Technology Promotion Network Secretariat of UNIDO, delivered a speech through video. He pointed out that China is undergoing huge industrial and economic changes driven by innovation. Over the past few years, UNIDO has focused on industrial assistance, poverty eradication and digital empowerment. Tencent, as one of the partners, has demonstrated its ability and contribution in promoting digital employment in previous collaborations. It is the value of technology to the social good that has laid the foundation for its success today.
Prof. Wu Yabin, Head of UNIDO ITPO Beijing, said that the digital economy is an important part of new infrastructure. Although digital technology has posed challenges to traditional industries and employment, the trend of industrial digitization will also create more job opportunities. The key is to cultivate digital talents who can effectively innovate on the digital highway, make full use of existing local industrial platforms, and promote the development of local characteristics and competitive industries through digital tools. In this regard, Tencent is our natural partner. On the path of digital empowerment, industrial support and rural revitalization, we will never stop. We also hope that everyone can join in this historic mission. Our training is just like a long-awaited "timely rain", not only does it rain, but also it rains thoroughly and “influentially”. Our efforts will reach more people in need and ensuring that no one is left behind.
Mr. Zhang Jun, General Manager of Marketing & PR Department of Tencent Group, said in his speech that Tencent is a doer in rural revitalization. In April this year, Tencent Group once again launched a strategic upgrade, set up a sustainable social value business unit, and invested 50 billion yuan in sustainable social value innovation in the first phase. It also explored in education innovation, public welfare digitalization and other fields, searching for ways and models that can closely integrate Internet science and technology and rural reality, along with the great project of national rural revitalization. With the development of global digital technology, huge changes have taken place in social production, consumption patterns and employment patterns, and more and more new types of jobs related to digitalization are emerging. According to incomplete statistics, in 2020, the number of employment opportunities in the WeChat ecosystem will reach 36.84 million. This series of training will integrate Tencent's WeChat, Tencent Class, Smart Retail, Tencent Cloud and other business resources. We hope that through the cooperation with UNIDO ITPO Beijing and the local government, we can contribute a valuable Chinese digital sample to the international poverty reduction and rural revitalization projects after the epidemic and open a new window for the employed population to embrace the digital economy.
According to H.E Dr.Ali Obaid Al Dhaheri, the UAE and China have numerous opportunities for closer cooperation in sustainable development and climate change. Both countries believe in multilateral solutions for international poverty reduction and sustainable development. I look forward to promoting this bilateral partnership to build a more equal, more inclusive, healthier, and more resilient world, ensuring that “no one is left behind”.
Mr. Joe Colombano, Head of United Nations Resident Coordinators Office, said that positive labor market outcomes must require a joint effort by governments and the private sector. In this sense, the training launched today by UNIDO and Tencent is an important step in the right direction. Targeted approaches will be undertaken to support rural SMEs and e-commerce, to encourage farmers and rural youth to return home to seek employment or start a business, and to increase non-farming income opportunities for rural smallholders, including through agro-processing and local value addition.
Mr. Libin, Counsel (DG-level) of Department of International Cooperation, National Development and Reform Commission, said that the NDRC and relevant UN organizations have carried out a series of practical cooperation in areas such as the "One Belt and One Road" initiative, poverty reduction, health, education and environment. Recent years have witnessed deepened bilateral cooperation, expanded fields and fruitful results. The number of institutions, diplomatic envoys, international organizations, associations, enterprises and media that participate in and care about the series of training is growing. NDRC stands ready to work with all stakeholders to further strengthen cooperation and exchanges, produce more practical outcomes of cooperation in areas such as rural revitalization, social development, regional strategies, carbon reduction targets, capacity building and personnel exchanges, and jointly promote the implementation of the 14th Five-Year Plan and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Mr. Ma Jian, Deputy Representative of UNIDO Beijing Office, introduced the UNIDO Country Programme for China (2021-2025). He noted that the key areas of cooperation between UNIDO and the Chinese government in the next five years include promoting innovation-driven industrial growth, facilitating green industry and industrial green transformation, accelerating rural revitalization and smart agriculture development, and further promoting international cooperation on inclusive and sustainable industrial development.
Ms. Zhang Lei, director of International Cooperation Office of China Women's Development Foundation, said that gender equality and women's empowerment are important goals of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Women are important participants, facilitators and contributors in social development, especially in the new era, new forms of business and new economy. "Her economy", "her entrepreneurship" and "her strength" are blossoming in all walks of life. At the same time, we must recognize that men and women are still unequal in rights, opportunities and resource distribution, and women far outnumber men in the world's poor population. What’s more, the Internet economy and the COVID-19 epidemic have brought new challenges to women's poverty alleviation, education, health, employment and rights protection. Therefore, with a novel theme, this training focuses on empowering education and empowering young women and small and medium-sized enterprises, which is timely, demonstrative, significant and influential.
Sharing Session: Trainees and local government representatives
Mr. Zhang Shiwei, representative of Lingshou trainees, “a father of triplets”, also a rural entrepreneurial youth, shared his personal entrepreneurial experience and his transformation after the training of WeChat skills. Through the training of WeChat Video-Channel in terms of its production and operation, and courses about how to quickly open a shop in WeChat, he learned the skills and operational knowledge of live commerce. In two months after the training, he operated his channel according to what he had learned, and now his followers on the video channel have exceeded 70,000.
Ms. Li Qin is a graduate on behalf of trainees from the pilot training in Chengdu . Through the training, she learned new trend and new ecology of female entrepreneurship, as well as the emerging profession, job opportunities and relevant skills. She also wants to spread the theory and knowledge she learned to more women around.
Mr. Li Honglin, head of the Employment Service Center of Lingshou County Human Resources and Social Security Bureau, shared his views on "Empowerment Training Leading the New Development of Lingshou". This year, Lingshou has been lifted out of poverty, standing on a new starting point of history to strive to create a beautiful and happy modern Lingshou. At this critical moment, the series training is like a timely rain for students, offering them an intellectual feast with collision of thoughts, cognitive optimization, and improvement of thoughts. The training, where students learned about operation skills and means of live commerce, served as a leading demonstration which attracted more entrepreneurial youth, and a guidance for Lingshou to implement new professional training. It also provides new ideas and options for more people to start their own businesses and create jobs through entrepreneurship.
Ms. Duan Xuxu, representative of agricultural enterprises in Dangshan County and a young woman who has returned to her hometown to start her own business, shared her entrepreneurial experience of transforming from an overseas PhD in Finance to a new farmer, returning to her hometown from a first-tier city and devoting herself to the great agricultural course. She said that how to quickly establish new farmers vocational talent echelon, let employees quickly update their vocational skills, maintain talent creativity and other problems are being faced at present. Therefore, related vocational skills training is imminent. She expected this training to enter Dangshan as soon as possible.
Ms. Yan Yan, Deputy Head of Lingshou County, introduced the development of characteristic industries and the progress of rural revitalization in Lingshou County.
During the event, Mr. Zhang Yi, Deputy Director of China International Center for Economic and Technical Exchanges, presented the 4th Industrial Revolution Alliance Country Consultant Certificate to Mr. Zhang Jun, marking that UNIDO ITPO Beijing and Tencent will further build a domestic and international "Employment Assistance" digital sample based on the common goal.
VR Course Experience Area
Virtual reality (VR) technology is introduced into the training of “the Fourth Industrial Revolution Promotes Industry Support and Rural Revitalization”, which conforms to the technological trend of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and address the shortage of educational materials and teaching tools in underdeveloped areas. VR course experience area was set up during the launch ceremony, introducing relevant employment skills. As a form of highly immersive experience, VR technology is not only expressive and realistic, but also can greatly save hardware and maintenance costs. VR class breaks the traditional teaching mode and is a combination of digitization and virtualization in teaching and training.
Industry Support and Rural Revitalization Exhibition
The Industry Support and Rural Revitalization Exhibition was also set up during the evet, displaying the featured agricultural products from Lingshou, Dege, Yan 'an, Yiwu, Dangshan and other places or platforms, which aroused strong interest of the participants.
"The Fourth Industrial Revolution Promotes Industry Support and Rural Revitalization" launching ceremony marks the start of the following training activities. In the future, ITPO Beijing and Tencent will work together with partners, sharing China's poverty alleviation experiences and best practices on the internationally influential platforms. The efforts would help promote Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development (ISID) of less developed regions in developing countries to build a more equal, more inclusive, and more resilient employment ecological system in the world, ensuring that no one is left behind.