International Workshop on “Companies Sustainable Development in the Context of the “One Belt One Road” Initiative” | 2015

On 17 April 2015, an International Workshop on “Companies Sustainable Development in the Context of the “One Belt One Road” Initiative” was conducted at the Xiyuan Hotel in Beijing. It was organised by the Chinese International Contractors Association (CHINCA) and the Emerging Market Multinationals Network for Sustainability (EMM Network) with support from the Ministry of Commerce (MofCom).

The Workshop aimed to highlight how the “One Belt One Road Initiative” will impact outbound sustainable investment of Chinese and foreign companies. Over 80 representatives from government organisations, international contractors, research institutions as well as NGOs participated in the Workshop.

Opening addresses were given by Ms. Zhang Xiang, Director, General Affairs Department, CHINCA and Mr. Philipp Kruschel, Executive Director, Emerging Market Multinationals Network for Sustainability, GIZ. Keynote Speeches were held by Mr. Yang Zhengwei, Deputy Director General, Policy Research Department, Ministry of Commerce, who presented a policy analysis of the “One Belt One Road” Initiative and its challenges and opportunities for Chinese contractors in operating abroad. In his speech, Mr. Yang Zhengwei pointed out to the audience that, in the context of “One Belt and One Road”, Chinese contractors should increasingly pay attention to the legal frameworks of the recipient markets of Chinese investments. He also mentioned that most conflicts in countries along the “One Belt and One Road” are due to environmental protection and social responsibility concerns. Mr. Du Fei, Vice President, China Road and Bridge Corporation, presented various aspects of sustainable business models in the outward investments of his company in line with CHINCA’s Operational Manual on the Guide on Social Responsibility for Chinese International Contractors, which was developed with support from the EMM Network.

After a short tea-break, two panel discussions took place in which representatives from international organisations and Chinese and foreign companies shared their opinions on new opportunities and challenges emerging with the “One Belt One Road” Initiative. The first panel discussion was moderated by Mr. Yu Zhihong, Chief Expert at the Goldenbee Management Co., Ltd. targeting inclusiveness and sharing between host countries and companies. The panelists were Mr. Shujjat Ali Rathore, Minister Counselor, Pakistan Embassy in Beijing, Ms. Wang Yalin, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Mr. Yuan Li, Deputy Chief Economist, China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC), Mr. He Wei, Chief Human Resource Officer,  CGC Overseas Construction Group and Ms. Li Hongyan, Key Account and Sales Director, Volvo Group. A main finding was that the local adaptation of Chinese and International companies is a key success factor for sustainable business models.

Under the guidance of Ms. Zhang Xiang, Director of Secretary & Research Department, CHINCA, the participants of a second panel had a dynamic discussion on harmony and co-existence between the environment and companies. The panelists were Ms. Li Nan, World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF), Ms. Nur Rokhmah Hidayah, First Secretary, Indonesian Embassy in Beijing, Mr. Philipp Kruschel, Executive Director, Emerging Market Multinationals Network for Sustainability, GIZ, Mr. Tang Zhongdong, Vice President, China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd. (CHEC). The panel called for continued documentation and communication of environmentally sustainable business models of Chinese contractors abroad in order to inspire other contractors to follow the same.

The workshop was concluded with closing remarks of Mr. Chi Changhai, Vice Chairman of CHINCA. He re-emphasised the importance of implementation of sustainable business models and called on all of CHINCA’s members to follow these in their host countries. It was concluded that both CHINCA and the EMM Network will continue to work together in the documentation of sustainable business models of CHINCA’s members as well as foster cooperation projects in China and beyond.

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