Most Vietnamese enterprises are small- and medium-sized and do not have sufficient capacity to comply with the strict requirements of corporate social responsibility, according to Patrick J Gilabert, country representative of the UN's Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO).

Speaking at a forum on labour relations on Aug. 23 in HCM City , Gilabert said that small- and medium-sized enterprises needed help in meeting such requirements.

Since last year, UNIDO and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) have been working with SMEs on a project to improve their environmental and social performance.

The project also helps SMEs enhance their sustainable integration in global supply chains through increased awareness of corporate social responsibility, including environmentally sound production and improvement of labour practices.

The forum was held as a dialogue between employers, workers and other stakeholders, including trade unions and buyers.

The forum gathered labour experts from the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and other local and international organisations and enterprises in the textile and garment and footwear industries.

Vu Huu Tuyen, deputy director of a USAID-funded project on industrial relations in Vietnam , said that critical industrial relations issues included minimum wage, strikes and dispute prevention, overtime payment, migration, female employment and cross-cultural management.

Global integration had had a strong impact on textile and garment and footwear enterprises. Many countries had strict regulations regarding policies for workers, labour relations and the working environment, Tuyen said./.