Do­mes­tic sup­pli­ers of­fered com­pli­ance train­ing

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS DIGEST - By WEI TIAN weitian@chi­nadaily.com.cn

A ma­jor trade pro­moter in Europe has vowed to in­crease as­sis­tance to Chi­nese sup­pli­ers in a bid to help them im­prove their com­pli­ance and bet­ter tap into global and do­mes­tic mar­kets.

Jan Eg­gert, di­rec­tor- gen­eral of the Brus­sels-based Euro­pean For­eign Trade As­so­ci­a­tion, an­nounced a plan to triple the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s re­sources in China in 2014 in or­der to of­fer more train­ing to Chi­nese busi­nesses, es­pe­cially small and medium-sized en­ter­prises.

“The move aims to ex­pand their ca­pa­bil­ity to catch up with the global mar­ket and bet­ter tap into fu­ture op­por­tu­ni­ties,” Eg­gert said in Shang­hai on Mon­day.

The Busi­ness So­cial Com­pli­ance Ini­tia­tive, a pro­gram that is com­mit­ted to im­prov­ing work­ing con­di­tions in fac­to­ries and farms world­wide, will pro­vide the sup­port.

“We will of­fer spe­cific train­ing on im­prov­ing com­pen­sa­tion, work­ing hours and safety,” Eg­gert said, adding that the pro­gram aims to in­clude work­ers as well as man­agers.

There also will be more ad­vanced train­ing pro­grams, in­clud­ing e-learn­ing tools, al­though com­pa­nies will have to pay for some of the pro­grams.

The train­ing bud­get is roughly 1 mil­lion eu­ros ($1.37 mil­lion), Eg­gert said.

The gen­eral idea, he said, is to co­or­di­nate with other en­ti­ties in China. Mem­bers have their own bud­gets for their sup­pli­ers, so part of the cost will be shared.

As one of Europe’s top as­so­ci­a­tions for trade pol­icy and global sup­ply chains, the EFTA unites more than 1,000 re­tail­ers, im­porters, brands and na­tional as­so­ci­a­tions to im­prove po­lit­i­cal and le­gal frame­works for trade.

China has the most par­tic­i­pants in the BSCI, ac­count­ing for more than 70 per­cent of the re­ported 612 bil­lion eu­ros in an­nual pur­chas­ing value by the par­tic­i­pants.

“I don’t know whether the to­tal buy­ing will in­crease, since there are other fac­tors, like the Euro­pean mar­ket, which is not very good,” Eg­gert said.

“But with bet­ter so­cial and en­vi­ron­men­tal per­for­mances along the sup­ply chain, the chance to get or­ders is much larger.”

But he said at least one change is sure to be in the cards — af­ter the train­ing, Euro­pean com­pa­nies will buy fewer ba­sic prod­ucts from China, but from more so­phis­ti­cated sup­pli­ers.

“China has quite a high level of pro­duc­tion knowl­edge in many ar­eas, as well as ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy. So the buy­ing will move in this di­rec­tion.”

Out of the as­so­ci­a­tion’s mem­bers, Chi­nese farms and fac­to­ries have shown the high­est growth in com­pli­ance, from 18 per­cent in 2008 to 62 per­cent in 2011.

Yet In­dia still topped that com­pli­ance level, with about 75 per­cent of its com­pa­nies liv­ing up to the re­quire­ments in 2011.

Sherry Yuan, CSR and qual­ity man­ager of AB Lin­dex, Stock­man Group, a Swedish fash­ion chain boast­ing 85 sup­pli­ers from China, ex­pressed her con­fi­dence in Chi­nese mar­ket.

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