From 26 February to 3 March 2017, under the auspices of Component 1 programme of activities for the year, NDRC and the interested Consortium members led a mission to C1 pilot sites in Shanghai and Guangdong Province. This activity intervened at the request of NDRC. Its objective was for members of the consortium to get better acquainted with the economic and social situation in the places visited, and to formulate with NDRC proposals for future cooperation activities matching the expectations of the pilot sites, as well as the competences and availability of the European party.
Ms. Zhu Yingjuan, who was just appointed Director general in the Department of Employment and Income distribution, and for the Consortium by Mr. Laurent de Lespinay, Coordinator for C1, Expertise France, led the mission for NDRC. Mr. Tretyak (France), Mr. Vleminckx (Belgium), Mr. Antichi and Ms. Pasqua (Italy) participated. The NDRC delegation included representatives from its Employment and Income distribution Department, as well as from its International Cooperation Center. The Beijing-base C1 project team was also part of the mission.
In Shanghai, the mission focused on long-term care, and innovative entreprises. It had fruitful discussions with representatives of the local Development and Reform Commission as well as with representatives from innovative entreprises, from the department of human resources and social security and the department of civil affairs. It appeared that Shanghai authorities had developed very interesting ways of handling long term care including through a pilot social insurance scheme, and that its technique was in a number of instances not second to that of European organizations. This opens interesting avenues for mutually beneficial cooperation that should be explored further.
In Guangdong Province, the mission focused more on social security computerisation and the integration of rural and urban pension schemes, including through schemes coordination for the vesting and portability of pension rights.
The mission had first contacts with provincial authorities and Municipal Government in Guangzhou city, before discussing the situation also in Qingyuan, which is a very vast half urban/rich and half rural/poor prefecture in Guangdong Province. In the course of the discussion, where experts had ample time to reflect on the local situation and to refer to their own national backgrounds, it was very clear that the plans to be developed by the Chinese side for extension of social protection and improved computerization in social security would benefit from further direct cooperation from European partners. In turn, European partners would gain in getting better acquainted with approaches taken in Guangdong province, where modern technology is becoming more and more accessible, and is actually used in all aspects of social security management.
The local Development Reform Commissions and the concerned Consortium members will now prepare their respective suggestions for continued cooperation which, after reconciliation, will hopefully become part of the project future plans of activities and form a basis for technical cooperation programmes to develop beyond the project time frame.
The full report of the mission can be found here.