More and Better Jobs through Socially Responsible Labour and Business Practices in the Electronics Sector of Viet Nam

This report seeks to contribute to the question of how enterprises can generate more and better jobs through socially responsible labour and business practices in the Vietnamese electronics sector, taking into account the evolving transnational production system as Viet Nam is further integrated in the global economy. Electronics has become the largest export-oriented industry in Viet Nam and is primarily led by major multinational enterprises (MNEs) producing in Viet Nam.

While new job opportunities have emerged from Viet Nam’s successful integration into the global electronics value chain, there are growing questions as to how this is playing out in terms of working conditions in the sector.
Working conditions are outcomes of the internal dimensions of business and labour practices which are closely related to the employment and human resources strategies adopted; however, they are also affected by external dimensions through multiple variables, including local labour market conditions, relevant institutional and regulatory frameworks, and above all, enterprises’ positions within the value chains and their relationships with other enterprises. This is a particularly prominent feature of Viet Nam’s electronics industry, in which MNEs play dominant roles in terms of employment and value chain coordination. From a local economic development perspective, the operations of MNEs in the electronics industry has weak backward linkages with Vietnamese domestic enterprises due to the underdevelopment of local supporting industries. This report presents model cases of good practices on which key stakeholders in Viet Nam can build in order to formulate a concrete future action plan. The report uses the provisions in the ILO Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy (ILO MNE Declaration) as the global framework reflecting the tripartite agreed consensus on how enterprises can best contribute to socio-economic development and decent work.