China to benefit from responsible business conduct in supply chains

Delegates to a technical seminar on CSR in the electronics and textiles sectors discuss challenges and practices.

Press release | 05 March 2019
Beijing (ILO news) - Implementing socially responsible labour practices can support China’s continuing development as a central player in global supply chains. This was in essence one of the key messages coming out of a seminar held in Beijing on March 5.

“Efforts to improve working conditions in global supply chains will ease China’s further integration in the global economy”, said Qian Xiaoyan, Deputy Director-General of International Cooperation Department, Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS).

The meeting jointly hosted by MOHRSS and the International Labour Organization (ILO) was part of an EU funded project on Responsible Supply Chains in Asia whose objective is to improve CSR knowledge and practices in a number of Asian countries, focussing on the electronics and textiles sectors in China.

Delegates from multinational and national businesses, sectoral associations, employers’ and workers’ organizations, government agencies and international organizations took stock of the challenges facing these sectors in providing decent work and meeting CSR standards. Good practices were showcased and discussed.

“Developing CSR is important to transmit positive values in the complex world we live in” said Thomas Langelaar, Counsellor at the EU Delegation in Beijing. This is particularly relevant for China as many suppliers of national and international brands are based in this country.

“China has been making good progress in promoting labour practices and is of great significance to global supply chains,” noted Joyce Chau, Director Asia Pacific of amfori, a global business organization that advocates for open and sustainable trade.

A key component of the Project is research on good practices. In her introductory remarks, Irene Chang Zhou, ILO labour law specialist, warmly welcomed the support of the Chinese Academy of Labour and Social Security which will conduct an assessment of the CSR landscape in China. “I am confident that the research carried out by the Academy will bring valuable findings and recommendations,” she said.

Recognizing not all ILO Member States have been able to cope effectively with the rapid transformation brought about by their participation in the global supply chains, progress on the respect for labour standards can be incremental in some circumstances. “Promoting decent work in global supply chains is a process, ” said Dai Xiaochu, Deputy Director of the ILO Country Office for China and Mongolia. “Working together on CSR with the government, businesses, employers’ and workers’ organizations will contribute to the achievement of the decent work, thus to the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda,” he added.

The Responsible Supply Chains in Asia Project was developed by the European Union together with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to enable governments, businesses and workers to communicate on challenges and opportunities relating to corporate social responsibility in six Asian countries – China, Japan, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, and Viet Nam. It uses as a basis for its research, outreach, policy advocacy and training internationally recognised guidelines on responsible business conduct, the OECD’s Guidelines for multinational enterprises, and the ILO’s MNE declaration.

For more information about the Responsible Supply Chains in Asia Project, visit or contact:
Ms. JI Cuijie
National Project Coordinator in China
86 10 6532 5091 ext.138