A new initiative has been agreed to boost responsible business conduct and due diligence in textile and apparel supply chains in China.

Signed between the China National Textile and Apparel Council (CNTAC) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the initiative ultimately aims to develop due diligence guidance for the textile and apparel supply chain that is aligned with OECD guidance but adapted to the Chinese context.

"In recognition of China's incredibly important role in this sector, with almost 40% market share, we see this as a step towards furthering our collective ambitions for a global level playing field for companies in the textile and apparel sector on responsible business conduct," explains Mathilde Mesnard, OECD deputy director of financial and enterprise affairs.

"However, we know that guidance in of itself is only a beginning. Therefore, we are committed to partnering with CNTAC to engage CNTAC's members to build the capacity of industry to carry out due diligence through joint training, tool development, workshops and potentially research, including through the China Center for Responsible Business and Sustainable Development."

Chen Dapeng, vice president of CNTAC, adds: "The joint vision of CNTAC and OECD as enshrined in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will connect the efforts made by global suppliers and by global brands and buyers, thus creating more synergy as well as multiplier effects."

The work is being carried out within a broader framework of co-operation between the People's Republic of China and the OECD on responsible business conduct.