Responsible business conduct is an essential part of an open international investment climate. MNE activities often span multiple countries and many cultural, legal, and regulatory environments. This complexity, coupled with the intensely competitive nature of international business, presents MNEs and their stakeholders with unique and specific challenges. Although many MNEs demonstrate a respect for high standards of business conduct, some may neglect the appropriate principles and standards of conduct in an attempt to gain undue competitive advantage. This may be particularly true in environments where regulatory, legal, and institutional frameworks are underdeveloped or fragile. More and more enterprises are responding by committing to responsible business practices, promoting dialogue, and engaging with stakeholders. Addressing societal concerns while advancing enterprise interests can be mutually supportive.
The Guidelines are a set of recommendations on responsible business conduct addressed by governments to MNEs operating in or from adhering countries.