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- The recently negotiated World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement will simplify customs procedures. A key outcome of these changes is less opportunity for corruption related to the import and export of goods.
- This article discusses key Articles of the Agreement and how each one reduces corruption risk.
- The long phase-in approach provided for in the Agreement, the flexibility afforded to developing countries, and the opportunity for technical assistance during implementation are additional factors that encourage adoption of the Agreement.
Association Management Companies (AMCs) have been in business for a long time. While there were only about 40 AMCs in the U.S. in the 1970s, the number has increased to an estimated 525 in the U.S. today and another 20- 25 in Europe. More importantly, an unknown number of AMCs are based throughout the rest of the world. The basic function of an AMC is to serve as the headquarters for two or more associations. In developing countries, AMCs can bring the history and knowledge of the U.S. association management experience to entrepreneurs who are willing to create a business that provides the resources and expertise to service professional organizations in their countries.Read more...
It has been almost 20 years since the Philippines overthrew a dictatorship and reestablished democracy. The first few years of that transition were understandably painful. But after a promising first decade, the country has been lurching from one crisis to another. Arguably, the reasons for the seemingly unending crisis have been largely homegrown – they revolve around political will. In other words, they have been mainly about public governance at the national level.
Recognizing the problems democracy in the Philippines was facing, the Institute for Solidarity in Asia (ISA) designed and implemented a program that brings together public officials and civil society groups to improve governance mechanisms on the local level. City mayors participating in the program work with civil society groups to identify priorities, design solutions, and implement concrete programs to improve the economic and social standing of their cities. In the process, they also improve political institutions by strengthening participatory mechanisms. The program has been a success and continues to expand into an increasing number of cities throughout the country.Read more...
Governance has become a buzzword in the development community, yet many continue to lack a clear understanding of the principle. In its essence, governance is an all-encompassing system that includes not only economic management, administrative procedures, and political factors, but is also subject to the influence of cultural and even religious factors.
Research and anecdotal evidence reveal that the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is on the weak side with regard to institutional and regulatory frameworks and good governance practices. This clearly has had a negative impact on the region’s ability to better mobilize available resources and solidify sustainable development, an issue of crucial importance in light of the demographic pressures and the need to create employment opportunities for the millions of entrants to the labor market every year. The institutional and regulatory frameworks in the region are generally polarized between excessive regulation and red tape, on one side, and vague and inadequate rules and regulations on the other. The consequence of this is particularly harmful to the poor segments of the society.Read more...
At the recent IV Summit of the Americas, 34 Heads of State and Government of the Americas gathered in Argentina to find solutions for some of the region’s most pressing challenges – to fight poverty and improve democratic governance. No one takes the challenges of job creation, competitiveness, and poverty reduction more seriously than the hemisphere’s business community. However, in order for the private sector to create the jobs necessary to developing the economy, the government must step in and implement certain policy reforms. Economic growth will not occur without free labor markets, reduced barriers to entrepreneurship, and open trade policies.
Business must work with governments to identify steps they can take, individually or jointly, to facilitate job creation, combat poverty, and enhance competitiveness — and this work must begin today. It is only through smart government reforms that the nations of the Americas will experience the low unemployment levels, falling poverty rates, and income gains that they have been working toward for years.Read more...
The Rose Revolution in Georgia was quickly hailed in the West as a democratic success story, inspiring a series of other “people-powered revolutions,” such as the ones in Ukraine, Lebanon, and Kyrgyzstan.
However, the euphoria surrounding the revolution has given way to the reality that democratic reforms are not progressing as they should. President Saakashvili has had a number of important successes, including police reform and development of market-based solutions to the social protection system. However, there have also been significant problems, including censorship in the media, constitutional changes that reduced the powers of the legislature and the judiciary, and government pressure on business. In many respects, Georgia is at a crossroads between a liberal democracy and the Russian model of so-called “managed democracy.”Read more...
- Democratic Governance
- Access to Information
- Combating Corruption
- Business Association Development
- Corporate Governance
- Legal & Regulatory Reform
- Informal Sector & Property Rights
- Corporate Citizenship (CSR)
- South Asia
- Middle East & North Africa
- Latin America & the Caribbean
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