V I E T N A M      U P D A T E


from  GLOBAL STANDARDS


June 17, 2003                                                      Vol.8:2003

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A Tragic Loss

The Global Standards Team suffered a tragic loss last week when our office manager Nguyen Thi Thu Thuy was killed in a motorbike accident. 

She was traveling with her younger sister to visit her mother near Dong Thap in the Mekong Delta. It was early morning and her sister was driving. They were on their way to a ceremony celebrating her mother’s initiation as a Buddhist Nun. They swerved to miss an oncoming motorbike and Thuy fell and hit her head on the pavement. She never regained consciousness.

She was 37 years old and is survived by her husband and two young children.

Thuy was a recent addition to our team, having joined us only a little over a month, however we feel her loss very deeply. We will remember her for her intelligence, wit and warm sense of humor. 


 

Fair Labor Association Makes Public Monitoring Reports

Last week as part of its drive for greater transparency and openness, the Fair Labor Association (FLA) published its first public annual report, summarizing its efforts to ensure the protection of workers’ rights.

FLA also made public findings from these Monitoring audits and remedial actions taken to address these issues during the first year of operation of its Independent Monitoring program. These “Tracking Charts” cover some 50 factories producing for major FLA member companies and brands including adidas, Nike, Reebok, Liz Claiborne, Eddie Bauer. 

Reports from this region include Thailand, Indonesia, China and of course Vietnam. 

The tracking charts are not designed to find fault with specific factories or brands, but to verify internal monitoring efforts and engage in a process of systematic improvement in working conditions. 

The Fair Labor Association is a three-year-old organizations made up of apparel and athletic footwear companies; NGOs and labor rights organizations. The FLA evolved out of the Apparel Industry Partnership, which was initiated by President Clinton in 1996 in order to protect workers’ rights issues in the US and abroad.

You can view the Monitoring Report Tracking Charts by company and country on the FLA website at:

http://www.fairlabor.org/all/transparency/index.html


If you have any difficulty navigating the Flash interface, the reports are also available in a more easy to navigate format from the LCHR website:

http://www.lchr.org/workers_rights/wr_fla/wr_fla_01.htm


US-VN Textile Agreement Sets Quotas on Vietnamese Exports  

Vietnam and the US negotiated a Textile and Garment Agreement, signed on April 25, 2003, which places a cap on Vietnam’s fast growing garment exports to the US.

The quota limits were based largely on Vietnam’s export performance last year, allowing limited room for growth in most categories. This will limit the future growth of garment exports from Vietnam and the development of this vital industry.

The agreement included stipulations on labor and working conditions, with Vietnam reaffirming its ILO commitments and pledging to provide support for the implementation of codes of conduct on corporate social responsibility.

A summary of the Textile agreement and Quota limits is available for download from our website at:

http://www.global-standards.com/Resources/VNtextiles-summary.pdf

Since announcement of the agreement the Vietnamese government has been racing to put in place mechanisms for allocating and managing the quota, which many manufacturers believe will be inadequate to meet their production this year.

The first round of quota allocations to factories was announced last week and updates and bulletins on the subject are being posted regularly on the Ministry of Trade (MoT) website. (http://www.mot.gov.vn)

Phase 1 Quota Allocation List:

Excel:   http://www.mot.gov.vn/detmay/Han%20ngach%20dot%20I.xls

ZIP:      http://www.mot.gov.vn/detmay/Han%20ngach%20dot%20I.zip

Supplementary Quota Allocation for factories in Phase 1:

http://www.mot.gov.vn/detmay/DNBS.zip

“Development” Quota Allocation for Developing/Expanding factories:

http://www.mot.gov.vn/detmay/HNPT.zip


In case you have difficulty in accessing the MoT site, which has been overloaded with traffic recently, we have posted the ZIP files above to our Downloads page at:

http://www.global-standards.com/Resources/GarmentQuota1.pdf

http://www.global-standards.com/Resources/GarmentQuota1b.pdf

http://www.global-standards.com/Resources/GarmentQuota2.pdf


See News Briefs for more information on the Textile-Garment quota. 


Vietnam Labor Law Compliance Reference on CD-ROM now available

The Vietnam Labor Law Compliance Reference is a new product we have developed to satisfy frequent requests from clients for information on the labor law and related regulations on health, safety and the environment.  

We know how difficult it can be to keep up with the latest regulations, especially at a time when new guidelines appear almost daily.  Therefore at the request of our clients we have developed this Compliance Reference to assist them in knowing which regulations are the most up to date and important for their business. 

For more information send us an email at Laws@Global-Standards.com.  


SAI launches SA8000 Training Program in Vietnam 

SAI launched its new program offering training to workers and management in labor standards and SA8000 in HCM City on June 5th.

The goal of the Vietnam Program is to work with Vietnamese factories and their workers together with foreign buyers to offer trainings and demonstrate the benefits of improved labor standard compliance through improvements in factory productivity and better industrial relations.

International companies participating in the program include adidas, GAP, Intergroup Far East / Coop Italia, Kesko, Kids "R" Us, MAST Industries / Limited Brands, Pentland, ScanCom and Timberland.

Some 25 local factories are to participate in the program, which will support CSR compliance efforts by conducting trainings for workers and managers and provide technical assistance to introduce best practices in compliance. 

The program also includes a research component designed to provide data and experience on costs and benefits of implementing and getting certified to SA8000, in order to make the business case for CSR compliance. 


Good Independent Monitors are Hard to Find

A recent article from Ethical Corporation explores the difficulties of finding qualified independent monitors to carry out audits of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) standards.

The following is an excerpt from this article:

…At a time when public social labels are beginning to appear, private labels are becoming more important and hundreds of codes of conduct can be catalogued, issues relating to the existence and effectiveness of control (or monitoring) systems and the reliability of the social audit are becoming acute.

The European Commission is aware of this problem and states in its communication on 2 July 2002 on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) that the most fundamental challenge for codes of conduct is to ensure that they are implemented and that their implementation is monitored and controlled effectively. As regards labels, it calls for common criteria to be respected when formulating and evaluating social practices.

Indeed it is the effectiveness of the system of control or evaluation of the practices of the enterprise that makes codes of conduct and labels credible, particularly with regard to compliance with the International Labor Organization (ILO) conventions by enterprises (subsidiaries, sub-contractors, suppliers) located in countries where social legislation and respect for human rights are ridiculed.

With this in mind, and in order to be as effective as possible, the system of control of the CCC (just like the one put in place by the Council on Economic Priorities Accreditation Agency, now Social Accountability International) in the domain of CSR or by the FLO (Fairtrade Labelling Organisation International) in the area of fair trade - offers guarantees in terms of transparency (it is the only organization that publishes the results of its audits on a web site). It also offers participation by all the actors who are interested in the whole monitoring process and the reliability of the social audit.

If we are particularly interested in the reliability of the social audit procedure, it is because this is a particularly sensitive part of the control system since its aim is to verify, formally and at a specific time, whether the social practices of the enterprise are in accordance with its commitments. This process of examination takes place through an "on site" visit, a large number of interviews with workers and managers and by gathering documents that may provide objective proof.

The reliability of the social audit will, of course, depend on its intrinsic quality, which we will set out in detail in the pedagogical file, and also on its context and on the choice of auditor.

In this connection, focusing on the progress of the latest audits carried out in India and China in the context of the CCC, Lara Cataldi, the Permanent Secretary of the Berne Declaration, has observed that it is difficult to find social auditors in India and China who meet all the necessary conditions to carry out a reliable audit and who have come from the world of NGOs or trade unions.

The CCC is not the only one to have followed this reasoning: for some people, the reliability of the audit process is bound up with the social commitment of the auditor. The reasons which are mentioned offer a guarantee of independence with regard to the interests of the enterprise, a more developed sensitivity to social problems, a closer and more trusting relationship with workers, perhaps a lower cost etc.

So there are many people looking for accredited social auditors from the world of NGOs and trade unions who can offer the benefits of social commitment and also the advantages of professionalism. Unfortunately, these rare gems are almost non-existent.

Furthermore, as Julien Rheinart observes in his working document on independent monitoring: "At present, only private audit companies are accredited by the CEPAA (SA8000). In fact, although accreditation is equally open to trade unions and NGOs, the conditions for accreditation (which require, among other things, registration with an internationally recognised accreditation body such as the R.A.B. or the I.R.C.A.) are tailor-made for private audit firms and are far from beneficial for NGOs and trade unions. In fact NGOs and trade unions seeking accreditation have to embark on a long and expensive process of training or even restructuring beforehand so that they can meet the standards imposed by these international accreditation bodies"…

The full article: An independent auditor - a rare gem? is available from the Ethical Corporation website at:

http://www.ethicalcorp.com/content.asp?ContentID=665

Ethical Corporation is currently hosting a CSR conference, Rebuilding Trust Through Corporate Responsibility, this week in Washington DC. More information on this can be found at: 

http://www.ethicalcorp.com/content.asp?ContentID=363


UNEP Launches: Shopping for a better world 

The world's leading fashion designers and retail giants have a major role to play in saving the planet according to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). Its new initiative, dubbed ‘Shopping for a Better World,’ aims to influence the $US7 trillion global retail industry. 

Whether it is the high-end labels of Prada or Versace or the high-street brands of Carrefour, Monoprix and Marks and Spencer, a growing number of professionals in the fashion and retail business are responding to a latent public demand for ethical and green products. 

In support of these efforts, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) is working on a new initiative, dubbed shopping for a better world's which aims to influence the $US 7 trillion global retail industry. At the same time new partnerships with people from the fashion world hope to bring environmental messages to a new and increasingly influential audience.

Consumers, especially the young, are often confronted with the seemingly contradictory choice of wanting to help the planet and buy the latest 'must-have brands' said UNEP Executive Director, Klaus Toepfer, speaking here in Brussels at the opening of the European Commission's Green Week.

"But, what can be more modern, more fashionable, than caring about our planet," Toepfer continued. "By working with the retail and fashion industry we can help change attitudes towards consumption."

"UNEP has stepped up its activities with the retail sector, whose role lies in helping to change unsustainable consumption patterns," said Toepfer. "We are also starting to work with partners in the fashion industry, in order to show how sustainable life-styles can be fashionable and 'cool' as young people might say."

One of the first emerging partners in this area is the award-winning web-based global fashion magazine, Lucire. According to Lucire's Founding Publisher, Jack Yan, "Fashion magazines should not only communicate the labels and their offerings, they should also give the industry insight into what's hot and what's not."

"In our joint effort with UNEP, Lucire will champion those who understand sustainability, bringing them the consumer demand that they deserve," says Yan. "At the same time, we will be able to send a signal back to the fashion industry that this is what today's society desires."

According to Philippe Houze, President of Monoprix, "A survey done by PricewaterhouseCoopers in March 2000 showed that 64% of consumers want to be informed about the production methods of the goods they buy and that 73 % of them would be influenced by social labels in their purchasing decision."

Mr Houze was writing in the latest edition of UNEP's Industry and Environment magazine that is dedicated to retailing. "Shopping for a better world: sustainability and retailing" it is available at:

http://www.uneptie.org/media/review/ie_home.htm

For more information on UNEP's sustainable consumption activities visit: 

www.uneptie.org/pc/sustain



Violence Sparks Garment Riots in Cambodia

At least two people, including one policeman, were killed and dozens injured after violent protests broke out at a Cambodian garment factory last week.

At the height of the riots, more than 1,000 police officers clashed with hundreds of workers demanding better working conditions at the Terratex Knitting and Garment International Factory near the capital Phnom Penh.

The workers had been demonstrating peacefully for five days in front of the garment factory on the outskirts of the capital, but the protest turned violent Friday when police blocked them from marching toward the city center. 

The workers threw stones at police, who fired into the crowd. One worker was killed by a bullet wound to the chest, and a policeman died after being hit on the head with a stone, the government said. 

The Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee, a coalition of local rights groups, condemned "the barbaric crackdown by the police." 

The violence occurred two days before Cambodia is to host a week of international meetings: a foreign ministers' conference of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations begins Monday, followed by a regional security conclave Wednesday to be attended by U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and the foreign ministers of South Korea, Japan and China, among others. 

Other factories closed when hundreds of workers walked off their jobs, adding to the confusion. 

The garment industry is Cambodia's main source of foreign revenue and urban employment, with about 200,000 people working in more than 200 factories. Cambodia exports about $1 billion in textiles each year, most to the United States. 

Some human rights groups say some factories exploit workers, but the situation has improved in recent years, according to the International Labor Organization, which has been monitoring working conditions.

Synthesis reports from the ILO’s extensive monitoring program in Cambodia, covering factory compliance with core labor standards are available from the ILO web site at:

http://www.ilo.org/public/english/dialogue/ifpdial/publ/cambodia.htm

http://www.ilo.org/public/english/dialogue/ifpdial/publ/cambodia2.htm

http://www.ilo.org/public/english/dialogue/ifpdial/publ/cambodia3.htm

http://www.ilo.org/public/english/dialogue/ifpdial/publ/cambodia4.htm



News Briefs

Vietnam wins recognition for containing SARS 

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) praised Vietnam’s success in containing the global outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, SARS.

"Developing countries like Vietnam can successfully contain the problem in hospital facilities using tried and true infection control measures," said Dr Julie Gerberding, director of the CDC.

Gerberding was speaking to a group of world health leaders from more than 60 nations at the 30th Global Health Council annual international conference over last weekend.

She said Vietnam and other developing countries could contain SARS so long as they follow protocol closely.

Gerberding praised the leadership shown by the WHO, saying she hoped that the reaction of the international community to the epidemic would "constitute a new norm" for dealing with international health crises.
She also stressed the importance of "communication and openness" between nations during outbreaks.

Gerberding said that while many diseases can be dealt with in the "modern way" of treatment and vaccination, the world has been forced to deal with SARS in the "ancient way" of detection, isolation and quarantine.
Meanwhile experts in Vietnam credited early detection and transparent government actions in Vietnam’s successful fight against SARS. 

Speaking at a conference at Hanoi’s Bach Mai Hospital on Vietnam’s campaign to contain the SARS epidemic, Director of the National Epidemiology and Hygiene Institute, Professor Hoang Thuy Long told delegates from Laos, Cambodia and Japan that containing the deadly outbreak was possible through early detection and strict quarantine of Hanoi’s French Hospital where affected patients were treated.

The disease was first identified in Vietnam in late February when a Chinese-American businessman was found to be infected. The disease killed five people and infected 63 others before it was contained.

Doctors and health officials moved quickly to treat and contain the disease in close cooperation with the World Health Organisation (WHO), which provided recommendations based on its experiences treating infected people elsewhere.

The Health Ministry set up a task force two weeks after the first case was identified, while the Government spent US$5.4 million to purchase medical equipment, medicines, surgical masks and antibiotics.

Border areas with other countries were carefully monitored and quarantines set up, with strict isolation measures for people arriving from affected countries and territories suspected of having contact with the disease. 
"About 200 people who came in direct contact with the SARS patients in Hanoi, besides 128 others in Ninh Binh Province, were closely monitored,” he said.

Raising public awareness f the disease, coupled with support from WHO, Japan and international organizations, helped to make Vietnam the first country to successfully contain the disease. 

[VNS]

New US garment quota fast running out 

The explosive growth in textile and garment exports to the US this year means the newly fixed quotas could soon be exhausted.

Deputy Minister of Trade Mai Van Dau spoke in Hanoi to introduce how the Government will ensure smooth operation of the quota, while encouraging the industry to develop new markets elsewhere.

At a press conference, he said shipments to the US are set to reach US$900 million in the first five months, equal to exports during the whole of last year. Dau said of the figure, almost $800 million would come from categories capped by the quotas. As a result, limits on some will run out by the end of this month and on many others by August.

From early July, all textile and garment items exported to the US must have Vietnamese "country of origin" labels issued by the six Ministry of Trade (MoT) import/export offices in Hanoi, Hai Phong, Danang, HCM City, Vung Tau and Dong Nai.

Up-to-date information on allocating quotas and granting these labels will be made public through the mass media and the MoT website www.mot.gov.vn.

Trade frauds by enterprises over these issues would entail stringent punishment, including revoking quotas already issued, withdrawing export licences to America or dragging the offenders to court, Dau said.

With the depletion of the quotas imminent, he said, exporters need to look at other markets like the EU and Japan and to export items falling under non-quota categories to the US.

[VNS]

Labor disputes on the rise  

HCM City Confederation of Labor reported 34 wildcat strikes and collective labor disputes in the city since January, which already approaches last year’s total number of labor disputes (36).

Reasons for the disputes included extra work expected by the management, low salaries and over-time pay, delayed payment of salaries and bonuses, refusal to sign labor contracts and payment of social security. Some 14 disputes involved foreign-invested enterprises.

Trade unions stepped in to help resolve disputes at two foreign-invested enterprises in HCM City, where employers refused to meet striking workers’ demands.

Some 1,450 workers at E. Land Vietnam Limited, a Korean-owned enterprise in Binh Chanh District, went on strike Wednesday to protest against alleged violations of the labor code.

They claimed the workers had been forced to work 12 hours a day without overtime, and that the company had dismissed workers who protested against the management’s treatment of its employees.

In another incident, 700 workers at Molax Vina Company, a Korean-owned garment enterprise at the Vinh Loc Industrial Park, Binh Chanh District, protested against management’s decision to lay off workers for offences they did not commit.

[VNS]

Vietnamese biologist Vo Quy wins global Green Planet prize

Biology professor at the Hanoi National University Centre for Resource and Environment Studies, Dr Vo Quy, 74, has become the first Vietnamese to win the Green Planet international environmental award, in 2003.

Two other scientists also received the award: Dr Gene E Likens from the Institute of Ecological Systems Research; and Dr Herbert Bormann from Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

Their awards were announced at an international symposium: "Environment protection and stable development in Vietnam" held in Hanoi on Wednesday.
Professor Vo Quy is a self-taught naturalist.

He has studied the flora and fauna of Vietnam for almost half a century documenting the country’s native plants and animals, particularly its bird life. 

During the war, he and other scientists investigated the effects of chemical defoliants in the forests of Tay Nguyen in the Central Highlands.

In 1985, he founded CRES, the Centre for Resource and Environment Studies at Hanoi National University.

Quy has drawn up strategies for preservation of native flora and fauna and advocated policies to protect endangered species through the creation of wildlife reserves.

The Green Planet Award is an international prize sponsored by the Asahi Glass Group from Japan.
   

[VNS]

ILO Workplace Safety Campaign lifts awareness

Despite efforts to educate people on workplace safety and hygiene, the incidence of work-related accidents remained too high, Deputy Minister of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs Le Duy Dong said.

Speaking at a meeting to mark World Day for labor safety and hygiene, he said last year 5,000 accidents were reported, including 500 deaths.

To address the problem, Dong said the Government will step up public awareness campaigns and tighten workplace supervision. He also called for efforts to improve awareness of workplace safety and hygiene and strengthening of relevant regulations.

Dong urged stringent punishment for ignoring hygiene, labor safety, fire and explosion prevention measures.

Speaking at the meeting, director of the International Labor Organisation’s Hanoi office, Rose Marie Greve, said the Government, employers and employees need to work together to reduce work-related accidents.

Greve said that labor accidents affect about 250 million people around the world every year, killing over 1 million. Similar meetings were held in over 100 countries to discuss possible solutions to the problem.

ILO statistics show particularly high numbers of accidents in the agriculture, construction and fisheries sectors.

World Health Organisation figures show that about 170,000 farmers around the world die each year from work-related accidents or illnesses, and some 40,000 people die from insecticide poisoning.

[VNS]

Number of food poisoning cases and deaths drops 

The number of food poisoning cases in Vietnam has dropped dramatically in the past four years, Minister of Health Tran Thi Trung Chien reported, with the number of food contamination cases decreasing by 31.2 per cent and the number of victims by 44.1 per cent.

Chien attributed the falling rates to improved consumer knowledge of food safety, speaking at a ceremony in Hanoi to launch a food safety month.

She admitted the task of monitoring all the country’s food handlers was beyond the Government’s capabilities and urged others to join the campaign to improve food safety and production.

After the ceremony, Chien and Hanoi People’s Committee officials inspected two markets in the city. Food safety inspectors in Hanoi visited 127 markets on the same day.

[VNS]

Industrial zones pose a threat to the environment

Waste from industrial zones poses a serious threat to the country’s environment, according to the Lao Dong (Labor) newspaper.

Only 11 industrial zones out of the country’s 74 have waste treatment systems for water, solid waste and toxic gases, according to the paper.

Under government regulations, industrial zones should start installing waste treatment systems as soon as they clear half of their planned area. But, according to the paper, many investors in the zones ignore requirements and management boards do not enforce regulations.

The article reports that levels of toxic chemicals in the dye, textile, paper, leather and food processing sectors have reached an alarming level in Binh Chieu, Tan Binh, Bien Hoa 1 and Go Dau zones.

The article cites concerns from zone officials that investors would be scared off if they had to bear the financial burden of setting up waste treatment systems.

Some zones charge businesses for treating wastewater at the same rate as they supply clean water.

A number of businesses in Le Minh Xuan zone dump their wastewater straight into the sewer system to avoid paying money for waste treatment, according to the article.

Pollution in many zones has not reached high or noticeable levels as most have been operating for less than 10 years or are not at their full capacity, the article said.

The paper accuses the State and zone management boards of not controlling pollution or monitoring waste, and ignoring the need to implement environment protection laws and regulations.

HCM City authorities have made the first step towards solving some of the problems in its zones with the issue of a temporary regulation, which covers the management of environmental threats. But it is the only locality to formally recognize the need for greater controls, the paper said.

The city recently hosted a Department of Science, Technology and Environment seminar investigating industrial wastewater treatment systems.
Dr Dinh Xuan Thang from the Environment and Natural Resource Research Institute discussed available technology and equipment to treat waste. He pointed to one Singaporean treatment system, which has the capacity to clean up to 1,000cu.m of wastewater per day to a standard, which allows the treated water to be re-used.

Deputy-director of the department, Dr Phan Minh Tan, said wastewater treatment in HCM city remained an enormous problem. He said HCM City has nearly 30,000 medium and small enterprises, almost all of which have no wastewater treatment systems. 

Meanwhile regulators in Hanoi are considering a polluter pays system under a proposal before Prime Minister Phan Van Khai.

The deputy director of the Natural Environment Agency, Hong Ha, said companies would face two sets of fees. The first, for total output volume, would be based on current clean water fees and the second would be tied to pollution levels in the wastewater.

Under the plan, half the money raised by the tolls would be spent on better equipment to ease environmental pollution and the rest would go to the Vietnam Fund for Environment Protection and be used to cover administrative costs.

[LD, VNS]


Wood processing industry seeks rapid, sustainable growth


During the past decade Vietnam's wood processing industry has posted rapid growth. The industry’s growth phase began in the early 1990s with the Law on Forest Protection and Development, banning the export of raw logs and timber. 

Exported unprocessed wood fell from a high of some 740,000 cubic meters in 1991. Meanwhile, export earnings from processed wood products grew from less than US$ 1 million in 1991 to more than US$ 410 million in 2002, equivalent to the export value of garment and textile products shipped to the European Union in that same year.

The total commercial forest area in Vietnam is estimated at five million hectares, and the total exploitable wood volume is around one million cubic meters a year. Such a volume can meet only 15% of the wood processing industry's demand. Therefore, in 1997, the Government brought out regulations restricting the use of wood from natural forests for the processing industry. Craft-makers were told to secure their own materials from reforested areas as well as from imports.

To facilitate wood processing enterprises' efforts in securing material sources, the Government has removed all troublesome formalities in importing wood for local processing. Local companies are not required to obtain licenses for importing wood, and at the same time, the tariff on imported wood has also been reduced to 0%.

Therefore, supply sources have become more diverse, and major suppliers now include Austria, Germany and New Zealand, providing pinewood, teak, rubber-wood and plywood. Wood processors have also managed to engage in reforestation, mainly in the Central Highlands, with up to 9,600 hectares of replanted forest in Daklak Province alone now.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, some 1,200 enterprises of all economic sectors are currently operating in the wood processing industry. The local private sector is seen to be more aggressive, with the number of enterprises accounting for 65% of the total, with State owned and foreign-invested firms making up the remaining 35%.

In the Southeast Asian region, Vietnam is ranked the third biggest exporter of wood products, behind Malaysia and Indonesia. Vietnam's wood products for the most parts are made according to designs by foreign buyers, or under outsourcing contracts. This is a big constraint on the development of the country's wood processing industry. Major consumers of Vietnam's wood products include Europe, the United States, and some countries in the region.

Vietnam has set ambitious growth targets, aiming to earn US$ 1 billion from wood product exports in 2010. This will require annual growth of more than 10% from 2002’s earnings of US$ 410 million.

The industry has also set its sights on shifting completely from natural forests to sustainable forests, with waste from wood processing going to produce plywood, in a bid to ensure sustainable development for the wood processing industry and to protect the country’s environment.

[VNS]



Raising Labor Standards in Vietnam and China

Researchers Anita Chan and Hong-zen Wang have drafted a very relevant paper entitled Raising Labor Standards, Corporate Social Responsibility and Missing Links – Vietnam and China Compared.  The paper were presented at the conference “The Labor of Reform: Employment, Workers’ Rights, and Labor Law in China,” organized by the Center for Chinese Studies, the Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations, the International Institute (Advanced Study Center), University of Michigan, March 21-22, 2003.

Those interested in the complete draft can find it on our web site on our Resources page:

http://www.global-standards.com/DownloadResources.htm



Further Readings on Corporate Social Responsibility
 

We have launched a new page on our website featuring new publications and recommended readings on CSR.

These include a book by Dr. Prakash Sethi,  Setting Global Standards which takes a critical look at codes of conduct and monitoring efforts.  Another recent offering is Globalization and its Discontents by Joseph Stiglitz.  Also Common Interest, Common Good: Creating Value Through Business and Social Sector Partnerships and many more.

Links to these and other titles can be found on our web site at: 

www.Global-Standards.com/Readings.htm

 

Links to other reports are available from the Global Standards web site at http://www.global-standards.com/Links.htm.

 

Resources on CSR, labor standards and the Vietnamese Labor Code are available at http://www.global-standards.com/DownloadResources.htm.  

 

 


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News Briefs are compiled from news reports and dispatches.  While the information they contain comes from published news sources, Global Standards cannot verify the accuracy of all information contained.

© 2003 All rights reserved, Global Standards Consulting Inc.

 

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