On 3-4 October, FTA convened a symposium on promoting responsible business practices in Asian supply chains in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It brought together over nearly 80 key regional stakeholders from governments, the United Nations, trade unions and civil society to engage in a dialogue on the social and environmental sustainability in supply chains in the region.
Through interactive discussions led by expert panels, participants shared good practices, defined solutions to complex supply chain issues in order to create long-term transformational change across Asia. Topics included: promoting business integrity; migrant workers and forced labour; environmental issues, business and human rights, women’s empowerment, and the impact of China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR).
“We unpacked how responsible business practice can translate in to concrete actions at the supply chain level in the region whilst promoting the business and human rights agenda and meeting the UN SDGs.” said Christian Ewert, FTA Director General.
Participants concluded that there is an increasing awareness that most supply chain risks are the same across different countries and that there is a need for more regionally and internationally coordinated responses to cross-border issues. To fill this gap, FTA has stepped up taking on a more recognised role to provide platform for intra-regional supply chain dialogue.
This event was organised in partnership with the Delegation of the European Union to Sri Lanka, the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), John Keells Holdings, the Ministry for Development Strategies and International Trade, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. Going forward, these shared experiences will shape the work of FTA and mobilise multi-stakeholder partnerships and collaborations to address the future challenges.