Business should add to the wellbeing of society and act responsibly towards people and the environment. Compliance with national and international environmental, labour and human rights standards are key success factors for businesses.

Sustainable supply chains as driver for global competitiveness

While Germany is still discussing a supply chain bill, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, Sri Lanka, and the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce (AHK Sri Lanka) have launched the “Sustainable supply chains as driver for global competitiveness” initiative to actively support exporting enterprises in Sri Lanka. This project aims to raise awareness vis-à-vis the need for sustainability related documentation with Sri Lankan exporters in order to increase global competitiveness of Sri Lankan companies and to facilitate market access to the EU and US.

In adhering to standards set out in the “UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights”, and being able to prove and document compliance, companies will be in a win-win situation. On the one hand, they increase their competitiveness and with that, their opportunities to export successfully to the European market. Simultaneously, this helps them overcome the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and contribute to the restart of the Sri Lankan economy. Only successful companies can contribute to the wellbeing of their workers and their community.

No income, no freedom

The initiative comprises a series of trainings for company representatives, the assessment of the adoption of the training results, as well as company visits to ensure that compliance exists and does work.

During the kick-off event of the initiative with company representatives of the targeted sectors (apparel, rubber, and food) the Head of the EU Mission to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Dennis Chaibi, underlined the importance of the ongoing regulation process on sustainability standards in the EU and its member states. Furthermore, he emphasized that the GSP+, under which Sri Lankan exporters can export a wide range of products customs-free to the EU, will only be beneficial to them provided that they are compliant to international labour standards.

How does sustainability increase the competitiveness of companies?

The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights must be implemented effectively.

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