Responsible business practices are no longer an option for businesses

Delegates to an automotive seminar in Thailand have learned about the continued need for progress in responsible business practices

News | 22 July 2021
Bangkok (ILO News) -Progress on responsible business practices will be key to the automotive sector’s future success a seminar of executives in Thailand has heard.

“In today’s difficult economic environment, responsible business practices are no longer an option for businesses, but a market requirement and an opportunity for businesses to become more competitive, productive and resilient, “ said Responsible Supply Chains in Asia programme head, Fredy Guayacan. “The ILO principles and standards agreed by the governments, employers’ and workers’ organisations have become a reference point for companies to address labour related issues,” he added.

The knowledge-sharing event also learned that such practices are important for access to crucial markets.

Petros Sourmelis, Head of Trade and Economic Section, European Union Delegation to Thailand, cautioned that “Sustainable development is an integral and ever more central part of the EU trade policy. The EU promotes high environmental and human rights standards and supports responsible business practices, good labour practices and due diligence by companies.” Future EU-Thailand Free-Trade Agreement negotiations must include a “strong and enforceable” Sustainable development chapter, he said.

The event, the Business Roundtable on "Socially Responsible Business Practices in the Automotive Sector in Asia" saw more than 40 participants from leading European automotive companies based in Thailand, suppliers, participants from other business sectors, as well as officials from the EU and ILO attend.

Githa Roelans, Head of the Multinational Enterprises and Enterprise Engagement Unit, ILO also spoke to delegates. She stressed “the importance of international labour standards and the distinct but complementary roles and responsibilities of government, social partners (employers’ and workers’ organizations) and enterprises in promoting socially responsible labour practices.” Roelans highlighted the importance of dialogue and compliance with national law and observance of the principles of the ILO MNE Declaration especially the Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.

The roundtable was a platform for companies and suppliers in the automotive sector in Thailand to hear about the latest policy and regulatory trends on sustainable development, socially responsible business practices, and upcoming due diligence legislation of the EU and internationally, as well as to share their best practices in socially responsible business practices through their supply chains.

Also presenting was Joseph Hong, Vice-President, Thai European Business Association (TEBA) and Managing Director of Robert Bosch (Thailand). He told delegates that … “among many initiatives related to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), automotive companies are focusing on the principle of reusing and recycling resources and to implement innovative solutions such as a circular economy, battery recycling, biodegradable components and sustainable processes in research, development and manufacture. TEBA has a strong Automotive Working Group and we work to support Thailand in becoming more environmentally friendly, lower emissions and achieving a future mobility goals.”

This event was jointly organised by the Thai European Business Association (TEBA), the European Association for Business and Commerce (EABC) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) (through the RSCA programme).

About the Responsible Supply Chains in Asia (RSCA) programme:

About Thai-European Business Association (TEBA)