Chinese investments abroad have been rising fast since the government launched the “Go Out Policy” (走出去战略) in 1999. In 2014 alone, China’s outbound capital flows increased 14 percent, to nearly $103 billion. While companies headquartered in other countries such as the US and Japan remain major players on the global stage, the pace of growth of Chinese investment overseas is notable.
So, too, is the extent of guidance available to Chinese firms to ensure that their operations mitigate social and environmental risks. This includes “Green Credit Guidelines” for project finance, the Ministry of Commerce’s “Regulation on Overseas Investment”, and the mining industry-led “Guidelines for Social Responsibility in Outbound Mining Investments.”
Since late 2011 the policy focus of the regulation of overseas Chinese investment has shifted from protecting Chinese investment and personnel to guaranteeing social license based on due diligence and localization…Dr. Liang Xiaohui, China National Textile and Apparel Council & Peking University
An important role for business, government and civil society is ensuring that these guidelines are respected in practice.
Project investments can generate welcome jobs and infrastructure in host countries. Yet they can also be accompanied by the forcible re-location of local communities, environmental pollution, and abuse of workers. Through this information hub we aim to:
- Raise awareness of the social and environmental standards and guidelines that are in place for Chinese companies overseas;
- Increase transparency by disseminating news gathered by our network of regional researchers around the world: including examples of advances and positive steps by companies, allegations of misconduct, and policy developments;
- Strengthen accountability, by inviting Chinese companies to respond when civil society raises specific concerns about their conduct overseas. The information hub features over 60 such approaches to date, with a 50% response rate.
The platform is in the broader context of our work highlighting the human rights impacts – positive and negative – of companies headquartered in all regions.
For further information and to share your news contact Lowell Chow.
Making adjustments to corporate behaviours that may be influencing conflict can save companies significant time, energy and money before situations reach irreversible consequences.Dr. Jiang Heng, from: "An Evolving Framework for Outward Investment - A Chinese Approach to Conflict Sensitive Business"