In particular, this goes for the manufacturing of clothes and shoes: Thousands of Chinese manufacturers are ready to serve Western capital with cheap labour.
In this edition of NorWatch we highlight Resource Group International (RGI) and Orkla.
Though their subsidiaries Gresvig, Helly Hansen and Brooks Sports, the companies have sports wear and shoes manufactured by Chinese subcontractors for Norwegian consumers.
The Chinese shoes and clothing branch have been strongly criticised for the use of child labour, sub-minimal wages and poor working conditions. However, as NorWatch asks for the names of the subcontractors that RGI and Orkla use, in order to determine whether the criticism also relates to them, the answer we get is that they do not want to give out the names «for reasons related to competition.»
This gives us the strong feeling that the companies try to hide dubious Chinese partners.
Minister of Trade Grete Knudsen is on official visit to China these days. The least she can do is to make sure the Norwegian public receive full insight into which the Norwegian companies' partners in China really are.
Norwatch Newsletter 4/96