The China-African Trade Union Leaders Seminar on the “Labour relations and role of trade unions in MNCs” was held in Beijing from 15-16 May 2014. Tim De Meyer, Director of ILO Country Office for China and Mongolia attended this seminar and addressed the participants in the opening ceremony.
In recent years, China-Africa economic cooperation has been further consolidated. China has become the largest trade partner country of Africa, while Africa is also the second largest supplier of service contracts for China. The ACFTU organized this event to promote closer cooperation between the Chinese and African trade unions against the backdrop of growing trade and economic ties between China and Africa and increasing presence of Chinese companies in Africa.
Jiang Guangping, Vice-Chairman and member of the Secretariat of ACFTU, indicated that the relationship between the trade unions of China and the African countries is an important part of China-African relationship and this seminar is an important initiative to further expand and enrich the cooperation between trade unions in China and African countries.
Tim De Meyer underlined the importance of dialogue between the Chinese companies and the African trade unions with the increasing Chinese investment in Africa, welcomed the efforts of the ACFTU in stepping up and fostering such intercontinental social dialogue in the spirit of ILO tripartism, and expressed the hope that this would serve as the beginning of a new trend of more institutionalized social dialogue between Chinese companies and African trade unions. He encouraged the Chinese companies to draw on the Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy (MNE Declaration) in their development in Africa.
Trade union leaders from 9 African countries and ACFTU representatives at both national and company level attended the seminar. Officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Commerce, representatives of some large Chinese companies such as China Nonferrous Metal Mining, China Construction, and Huawei, and academia were present at the meeting.