Türkİye, Economy, Europe

New German supply chain law offers opportunities for Türkiye, says envoy

Germany's new law aims to improve human rights situation in global supply chains, says Ambassador Jurgen Schulz

Muhammed Tarhan  | 24.01.2023 - Update : 24.01.2023
New German supply chain law offers opportunities for Türkiye, says envoy


Germany's new "Supply chain duty of care act," which came into force in January, is a great opportunity for countries like Türkiye, according to the German ambassador to Ankara.

"When it comes to supply and basic products in German supply chains, Türkiye is among the most important countries," Jurgen Schulz told Anadolu.

Therefore, this law offers many opportunities for even deeper cooperation between the two countries, he added.

Noting that the German economy had a strong global network, he said its companies and their international partners created a great deal of employment in other countries and boosted their welfare.

"Especially since we have a very good international network, Germany obliges its companies to respect human rights in their global supply chains," he added.

"Our aim is to improve the human rights situation in global supply chains. For example, 'Made in Germany' brand are not compatible with forced or child labor," he added.

On the purpose of the law, Schulz emphasized that observance of human rights and compliance with social and environmental standards constituted "the foundation of a sustainable global economy" for Germany.

"We believe that the success of the German economy depends on the observance of human rights in production," he added.

Emphasizing that the law would apply to all companies with headquarters, main offices, administrative centers, registered offices or branches in Germany, Schulz pointed out that it would affect companies with at least 3,000 employees in Germany this year and at least 1,000 employees next year.

"Companies directly affected by the law need to establish risk management first. In this way, the risks of human rights violations and damage to the environment will be identified, prevented and minimized," he stressed.

He suggested that companies in Germany would seek contracts with their domestic and foreign suppliers, obliging them to similar regulations.

"Since a similar law will come into force in the EU, it will be sound for companies to implement this law as soon as possible. Those who've fulfilled their obligations will gain an advantage over their competitors," he highlighted.

Referring to companies' concrete obligations under the new law, Schulz emphasized that the obligation of care in supply chains covered not only regulations in their supply chains, but also the activities of their contracted partners and suppliers.

"In other words, respect for human rights does not mean that it ends when you walk out the door of the company.

"On the contrary, this responsibility covers the entire supply chain globally, as the law also applies to companies operating worldwide."

He said the law introduces concrete codes of conduct and prohibits child labor, slavery and forced labor, ignoring occupational health and safety, inadequate payment, ignoring workers' rights to unionize, denial of food and water, and unlawful deprivation of land and livelihoods.

Fines of up to €8 million ($8.7 million) or 2% of a company's worldwide annual income can be imposed if companies fail to meet these standards, he said, noting that firms could also be barred from public tenders.

* Writing by Gokhan Ergocun from Istanbul

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