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The question if multinational enterprises can play an important role in the sustainable development of newly industrialising countries has been subject of ongoing controversy. Multinational companies are exposed to enormous challenges in the operating countries, in many cases their presence is the key to sustainable development, but sometimes their economic activities can be the source of social conflicts and increase environmental degradation.
Therefore the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) organized in cooperation with the Institute for Organisational Communication (IFOK) a two days workshop in Brussels on October 1-2, 2007. The intention of this workshop was to discuss the issue of ’New Partnerships – How business can contribute to development in difficult local environments’.
Tata Steel, Mercedes Benz, DaimlerChrysler, Volkswagen, ABB, BMW and Siemens have been selected as partners for this project. Their holistic approaches aim at integrating their economic activities into the cultural and social context of their operating environment.
The results of the conducted field research by IFOK in India and South Africa and the discussions of the workshop are now presented in the attached publication.