Seminar on due diligence in the supply chain and guiding on wages policy in electronic businesses

Attending the meeting were Ms. Tran Thi Hong Lien, Deputy Director of Bureau for Employers’ Activities, VCCI, Mr. Nguyen Hoang Ha, Program Officer, ILO, Ms. Nguyen Thuy Linh, Head of Policy and Legal Department, Bureau for Industrial Relations and Wages, Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, Ms. Do Thi Thuy Huong, Board Member, Vietnam Electronics Industry Association, and more than 40 representatives who are human resources, CSR, compliance officers and managers of electronic enterprises in the North of Vietnam.

Ms. Tran Thi Hong Lien, Deputy Director of Bureau for Employers’ Activities, VCCI delivered the opening remarks. Accordingly, participating in the global supply chain requires Vietnamese enterprises not only to pay attention to improving productivity and product quality but also to make appropriate and appropriate investments in responsible business practices, compliance with international standards and domestic legal regulations. The requirements for compliance with labour, social and environmental standards are increasing in the supply chain, among which is the new German Act on Due Diligence in the Supply Chain which has been approved and passed in July 2021 and the Draft European Union Directive on business sustainability on due diligence adopted in February 2022. So grasping the requirements for carrying out due diligence is crucial and necessary for businesses when participating in the global supply chain.

Next, Ms. Tran Thi Hong Lien provided some information about due diligence responsibilities in the supply chain, including differences with other requirements for implementing social responsibility and some legal regulations in other countries apply to companies in the supply chain and an overview of Vietnam's regulations on labour and society that businesses must comply with.

As an employer's representative, VCCI established the Responsible Business Helpdesk, which, with technical and financial support from the German government, will assist in providing information, raising awareness and advising businesses in Vietnam on standards and requirements on due diligence as well as connect experts and service providers in the country.

At the discussion session, the delegates shared some contents related to promoting due diligence in the supply chain. Assessing the difficulties and challenges in complying with regulations on supply chain appraisal, Ms. Lien said that businesses do not have sufficient relevant information on due diligence obligations in the supply chain. Most enterprises in Vietnam are small and medium enterprises, so resources are limited. Previously, when doing CSR, businesses had to spend a relatively large amount of investment. For large enterprises, multinational enterprises have strong potential but still face difficulties. While Vietnamese enterprises have limited resources, they still have to fully comply with the same regulations as large enterprises. Despite such challenges and difficulties, businesses should also consider the issuance of due diligence regulations as an opportunity to help businesses continue to improve and develop. Sharing the same opinion, Ms. Do Thi Thuy Huong - Vietnam Association of Electronic Enterprises said that, when complying with the due diligence process in the supply chain, not only the capacity of enterprises is improved, but when employees and the environment is treated well, businesses can develop sustainably. Only when workers are liberated mentally and physically, will labor productivity increase. This is a long-term advantage that businesses receive. Meanwhile, Mr. Nguyen Hoang Ha - Senior Program Officer of the International Labor Organization acknowledged that one of the common challenges faced by small and medium-sized enterprises is the difficulty in accessing capital, and the lack of State guarantee to confidently participate in the supply chain. Secondly, it is difficult for enterprises to access the supply chain due to limitations in technology, human resources and labor productivity. With these characteristics, it is necessary to join hands and support from many parties so that the Vietnamese small and medium-sized business community can participate in the global supply chain more conveniently and effectively. Ms. Nguyen Thuy Linh, Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs said that some of MOLISA's upcoming plans to support businesses in this regard to improve competitiveness in the global value chain include: reviewing the policy framework according to new requirements for businesses, participating in a network of consultants for enterprises to deploy, supporting enterprises on the issue of documents for verification and assessment to meet their requirements.

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