C
Asia has a key role in global supply chains. In 2013, 43% of global value chain intermediate exports worldwide came from the region, which accounted for 38% of global value chain intermediate imports globally in the same year. The Asia region is also crucial to European economic interests. Asia is one of the largest trading partners of the EU, still representing major trade opportunities for European companies. Risks of adverse impacts in global value chains based in Asia are well documented they include issues related decent working conditions, occupational health and safety and the environment. Businesses and governments as well as other stakeholders in Asia are increasingly aware of the importance of addressing these risks and the benefits associated with Corporate Social Responsibility/Responsible Business Conduct (CSR/RBC). Businesses, governments and other actors in the region have engaged in a number of initiatives in this regards. In addition, public interest and expectations in the EU and abroad is increasing on how to ensure the adequate management of value chains including in relation to Asia where many goods and services in the EU originate from. In this context and with a view to further develop opportunities for EU businesses in key Asian trading partners, it is therefore important to further promote responsible management of supply chains in the region by developing and disseminating CSR/ RBC practices and approaches in accordance with internationally agreed instruments. The overall objective of the action 'Responsible Supply Chains in Asia' for a total value of € 5 million to be launched in Q1 2017 is to support CSR/RBC practices and approaches in relevant Asian trading partners with a view to enhancing market access opportunities and strengthening an international level playing field for EU responsible businesses in the region. The specific objective of this assignment was therefore to assist the European Commission in the preparation and formulation of the action 'Responsible Supply Chains in Asia' on the basis of a preliminary Partnership Instrument Concept Note, relevant documents and findings obtained by the Consultants through desk research and interviews.

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