An international conference to raise the social responsibility of businesses got underway in Paris on January 26.

Organised by the Inter-Pacific Bar Association (IPBA), the event drew the participation of 100 representatives from European, American and Asian countries, including lawyers, economists and diplomatic representatives.

The conference, themed “Corporate Social Responsibility and Fair Competition: a comparative approach Europe/Asia”, was a forum for speakers to present their studies on the competitive environment between businesses and the social responsibility standards of China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam.

Standardising corporate social responsibility is a tool to deal with the market’s failures and pursue a harmonious development model, improving living and working standards for workers and ensuring social sustainable development, said Nguyen Canh Cuong, a commercial counsellor at the Vietnamese Embassy in Paris.

Cuong stressed the necessity of establishing international social responsibility standards, especially at a time when Vietnam is expanding regional and international integration.

A broad range of emerging issues such as environmental pollution, corruption, weak law enforcement, the monopolisation of large enterprises, child labour, and forced labour were also discussed at the conference.

Some studies show that social responsibility standards are significantly different in Europe to Asia, resulting in unfair competition between domestic and foreign businesses and between small and medium-sized businesses.-VNA