This dialogue has been initiated by the 1st Labour and Employment Ministers Conference (ASEM LEMC1) in Potsdam in 2006 under the German Presidency. It has been successfully continued and consolidated through the 2nd Labour and Employment Ministers Conference (ASEM LEMC2) in Bali, on 13-15 October 2008, which resulted in adoption of the 1st ASEM joint declaration on employment and social affairs as well as decision concerning the development of practical cooperation projects in such areas as skills development, social protection, decent work, CSR and safety and health at work.

The main focus of the meeting was on how to turn the financial and economic crisis into an opportunity for creating jobs and strengthening social development at the global level as well as the path from the crisis to successful recovery that requires strong employment and social dimension.