Recently, renewed attention has been drawn to the operations of Chinese companies in the cobalt industry of the Democratic Republic of Congo, bringing into question the overseas business conduct of these companies.
See for example the NY Times, Guardian, and NRC (Dutch).
Mandatory EU diligence legislation (the proposal of which was supposed to be presented last week, but has been delayed to next year) could have a significant impact on international supply chains in which irresponsible corporate behavior takes place. Cobalt is a crucial mineral for the development and implementation of many green technologies, while the cobalt supply chain is largely controlled by Chinese companies. It is therefore important to improve knowledge in the Netherlands and Europe about the way in which Chinese actors approach the issue of responsible business in overseas context. The LeidenAsiaCentre therefore recently published the research report “Chinese Approaches to Overseas Responsible Business – Insights from the DRC Cobalt Industry“. This will continue to be an important topic in 2022.