"The change of climate in Vietnam is causing its inhabitants to shift from agriculturally-rich Mekong Delta to urban areas. As recent government statistics reveals, over 1.7 million residents have relocated out of the vast expanse of fields, rivers and canals over the last 10 years. Adverse climate conditions such as extreme floods, cyclones, erosion, and land degradation are making natural resource-based livelihoods more difficult, further encouraging inhabitants to migrate."
The change of climate in Vietnam is causing its inhabitants to shift from agriculturally-rich Mekong Delta to urban areas. As recent government statistics reveals, over 1.7 million residents have relocated out of the vast expanse of fields, rivers and canals over the last 10 years. Adverse climate conditions such as extreme floods, cyclones, erosion, and land degradation are making natural resource-based livelihoods more difficult, further encouraging inhabitants to migrate.
The labor situation in the country’s manufacturing sector is adding to its woes. Forced and child labor, gender discrimination, health and safety issues, wage theft, excessive working hours, and more egregious behavior is commonplace in a setting where demand increases pressure to make and ship goods quickly at the lowest prices.
EVFTA to eliminate custom duties on 99 per cent goods
The Vietnamese government, to tackle these, is setting up an equitable and sustainable response to climate change, by including environmental and worker rights stipulations in the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA). The EVFTA will bring considerable benefits to all trading parties as it will eliminate customs duties on over 99 per cent goods, increase investments from EU and pave the way for a wider EU-Southeast Asia trade deal.
The FTA emphasises on sustainable development, environmental protection and labor rights, requiring supply chains to establish and expose their practices in each of these areas. A primary chapter is dedicated to the labor and environmental matters relevant to trade relations between Vietnam and EU countries. It outlines specific provisions to promote “mutual supportiveness between trade and investment, labor and environmental policies,” according to the “Guide to the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement,” while also dictating that the anticipated boom in trade doesn’t come at the expense of workers and the environment.
Agreement ensures compliance to labor regulations
Specific to climate change and environmental impacts, the FTA includes commitments for each party to implement additional multi-lateral environmental agreements. Companies participating in the EVFTA can mitigate risk and ensure their downstream suppliers are following all applicable safety and labor regulations by leveraging technology for traceability.
In the past, duplicative audits with multiple companies conducting the same audits on overlapping factories were a serious issue. It led to audit fatigue at the factory level, with often contradictory requirements leading to confusion during the audit. The advent of third-party and shared auditing has resolved many of these issues, with companies working together to resolve setbacks and mitigate risk without stepping on each other’s toes or exposing sensitive information.
Building stronger relations through collaboration tools
Technology-based solutions help companies increase supplier collaboration and visibility, support greater supplier accountability, and provide a conduit for broader, proactive supplier management activities. The best technology solutions offer the functionality to fulfill the end-to-end, develop-to-shelf needs of both retailers and suppliers. Integration to external and third-party systems can push and pull information into a central repository to increase its value and preserve existing investments.
To ensure complete visibility and collaboration, technology should facilitate internal sourcing and compliance teams to work with factories, vendors and outside inspection teams to maintain strict adherence to the numerous performance standards, and subsequently build stronger relationships with each link in the supply chain through the collaboration tools on the platform.