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Multinational Companies Taking on More Social Responsibility
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Multinational companies are taking on more corporate social responsibility in China, according to a report released on Friday by the Transnational Corporation Research Center under the Ministry of Commerce.

It said that many such firms had brought to China not only capital, technology and management, but also a sense of social and environmental awareness.

"It (strengthening social responsibility) has been a global trend among large companies in the past few years," said Wang Zhile, the center's director.

Wang said that the awareness of corporate social responsibility was extended to China in a range of ways.

Multinational firms imposed the same rules on their branches in China, keeping strict policies on key issues such as security and the environment, he said.

They also passed on the awareness of social responsibility to their suppliers in China.

Wang added that some companies have helped to raise the export standards of Chinese products.

The European Union drew up two "Green Directives" in 2003. They restrict the use of certain materials harmful to the environment in electronic products and stipulate that producers recycle and dispose of electric waste in an environmentally friendly way.

Chinese enterprises have to abide by these rules if they want to enter the global market, Wang said.

According to Yi Xiaozhun, assistant minister of commerce, the Chinese government is working on standards for corporate social responsibility for domestic companies.

In fact, Wang said, a number of large state-owned and private companies in China, such as Baosteel Group and Mengniu, have already taken action in this area, issuing reports on social and environmental responsibilities.

(China Daily February 18, 2006)

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