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A knitting factory in Bangladesh brings together the past, present and future. On one floor, workers knit by hand. On a third floor, there are only robots.In 2014, China had just 11 robots per 10,000 employees in nonautomotive industries, and just 213 per 10,000 employees on automotive assembly lines.According to a 2016 OECD study that breaks down occupations by task, only 9 percent of jobs on average across 21 OECD countries are really at risk.In Vietnam, for example, the share of jobs at risk falls from the ILO's predicted 70 percent to just 15 percent when the country's large informal economy is taken into account.In 2015, robot sales in Asia increased by 19 percent – the fourth record-breaking year in a row.At the end of the day, Asia's developing countries need policies that support workers, rather than jobs.Retraining is particularly important, because automation will create entirely new industries and occupations. It would mean that businesses like the factory in Bangladesh could operate solely with robots, while its former workers would be gainfully employed elsewhere, most likely in jobs that don't even exist yet.
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