Sustainability in Global Value Chains

International Workshop



November 13 - 14, 2018


Hong Kong SAR, Hong Kong, China


Dr Peter Hefele, Director, KAS RECAP; Dr Hubertus Bardt, Managing Director, Cologne Institute for Economic Research; Kathryn DIOTH, Chief Executive Officer, Hinrich Foundation, Hong Kong



Companies and businesses are increasingly embedded in Global Value Chains. This interconnectivity comes along with an increased responsibility for social and environmental conditions and climate change mitigation.

Many firms have spread their production chains across wider and more diverse geographical areas. In past decades trade in intermediate products has gained importance and today make up the bulk of world trade. Recent years have seen a series of national and global initiatives by private companies to comply with standards in environmental, climate change and social protection. Indeed, many corporations already have extensive corporate strategies to implement risk-based due diligence procedures for CSR and Sustainability programmes in Global Value Chains.

Much more can be done, however, in a coordinated way and there is a debate about underlying methodologies, the harmonisation of standards and their transparency. Yet, a systematic analysis and reconfiguration of global value chains under the premises mentioned above are still at an infant state. Private companies, in cooperation with other transnational actors, have to actively engage in setting up legal frameworks and implementing new business models. Only if substantial progress is made, opposition towards further globalisation can be overcome and international trade will unleash its full potential in creating wealth for all stakeholders.

To reflect the diversity of discussions in Asia and Europe, the Regional Project Energy Security and Climate Change in Asia-Pacific of KAS and the Cologne Institute for Economic Research organise the second international workshop in the respective regions. After the first one-day workshop in Europe, Brussel the second workshop will take place in Hongkong. Representatives from governmental and intergovernmental organisations and multinational companies will discuss the following issues:

  • Sustainability in Global Value Chains
  • Implications of the SDGs for businesses and international trade
  • Options and limitations of implementing global standards
  • Global vs local standards and their implementation
  • Standards and practices set by MNEs: Experiences, good practises and perspectives/presentation of concrete cases
  • The role of regulators, consumers and other stakeholders (i.e. NGOs)


View larger map

Containers in an industrial port

A large portion of global trade is conducted via sea. Equally to value chains on land, there is a great potential for ecologically and socially sustainable transformations.

Contact person

Dr. Peter Hefele

Head of the Regional Project Energy Security and Climate Change in Asia and Pacific

Dr. Peter Hefele
Phone +852 28822245
Fax +852 28828515
Languages: Deutsch,‎ English,‎ Français,‎ Magyar


Cologne Institute for Economic Research (IW Köln)Hinrich Foundation