Context

Developing countries offer great opportunities for international German and European companies. Not only do they serve as outsourcing or procurement markets, but also as potentially lucrative sales markets. However, with such opportunities come great challenges and problems.  Most developing countries suffer from a lack of: 

  •                     Quality standards (product safety; chemical standards; norms)
  •                     Social standards (wages and benefits; working hours; child labour etc)
  •                     Workplace safety (building safety; fire safety)
  •                     Environmental standards (illegal substances; no effluent treatment etc)
  •                     Timely delivery (production planning failures; exceeding capacity etc)

Further challenges are: 

  •                     A deficit of skilled labour
  •                     Low productivity level
  •                     Unauthorised subcontracting
  •                     Communication problems
  •                     Cultural differences
  •                     Pricing

Solution

Finding sustainable solutions to these challenges is, in fact, a common goal of private companies doing international business and of state-led foreign development policies. For this reason, the German government offers a private-public partnership (PPP) programme called develoPPP.de. This programme allows private companies to partner with the public sector and engage into co-funded projects that result in sustainable development and improvements for the participating company as well as the respective developing country where the company is doing business or intends to start operating. 

German and European companies which consider sustainability in their entrepreneurial actions in developing countries: 

  •                     Stay competitive
  •                     Secure their supply chain
  •                     Take responsibility
  •                     Set quality standards
  •                     Create jobs
  •                     Promote development of countries