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- The Women’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Sri Lanka (WCIC), established in 1985, is the oldest women’s chamber of commerce in Sri Lanka and the first such organization in the world.
- The impetus for the establishment of WCIC came from a small group of highly educated and successful women entrepreneurs and professionals who came together to form an organization to empower women in Sri Lanka.
- Since its creation, the WCIC has been actively involved in defending the rights of women-owned businesses, advocating policy reforms that foster entrepreneurship, and representing the voice of small and medium-sized enterprises.
CIPE: Corporations are increasingly embracing the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR). What are the main driving forces and why has Starbucks embraced the movement?
Sandra Taylor: For Starbucks, CSR is really about conducting business in a way that produces social, environmental, and economic benefits for all the communities in which we operate. Social consciousness has always been at the core of our business. In general, I think the main driving force behind corporate social responsibility is consumer awareness, which we see as a very positive development. Over the past few years, the public has become more educated on concepts such as global warming, poverty alleviation, human rights, and the broader concept of sustainability. Sustainability is certainly important to agricultural commodities, such as coffee, tea, cocoa, and water, and permeates every aspect of our business.
CIPE: What are the main benefits and challenges of corporate social responsibility for business?Read more...
The limited analysis of Afghanistan’s political economy has focused extensively on the illicit narcotics sector and has not sufficiently addressed informal sector issues. As a result, three important characteristics of the Afghan economy have been widely neglected: participation in the market is not open to all, benefits are spread unevenly among participants, and the country’s market structures in their current state undermine governance and state-building.
These factors have the potential to seriously impede both the democratic and economic development of Afghanistan. The key concern of policymakers has been to create a light regulatory state to promote private sector growth, hoping that competitive pricing and market efficiency will eventually arise out of the forces of supply and demand. It is imperative that policymakers consider the broad political implications of such growth, which may not necessarily be free and equitable, rather than simply assuming that the market will lead to a democratic and prosperous society.Read more...
Kosovo is one of the former Yugoslavia’s last regions to begin transitioning to a free-market democracy. While there has been some progress towards this goal, the process of change has been frustratingly slow. Many familiar with the region and its challenges would agree that a key barrier to reform is a weak and ineffective governance system, split among multiple agencies. This problem is manifested in an inefficient public sector that is burdened by a lack of transparency, accountability, and clearly defined roles for stakeholders. The absence of a governing principle for publicly owned enterprises (POEs) has contributed greatly to this confusion.Read more...
CIPE: Corporate social responsibility (CSR), or corporate citizenship, is becoming increasingly instrumental in defining the role of business in society. However, the debate over business’ responsibility is far from resolved. What are the main issues that companies face?
Mr. Young: My immediate response is that companies can sometimes sidestep the debate. Why should companies engage in the debate, as well as actively consider the implications of it, when making business decisions? This is a very important question and, unfortunately, often there are not many factors to which companies can relate from a business perspective. But, there are some.Read more...
One way to approach the complex challenges of post-conflict reconstruction is to view the process as a balancing act of providing sufficient humanitarian relief without compromising longer-term development objectives. These longer-term objectives include the development of institutions – both physical infrastructure and social structures and mechanisms – that allow free market democracy to take root. Ultimately, the success of countries in building democratic governance and providing economic opportunities will be the determining factor in achieving prosperity, peace, and sustainability.Read more...
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The views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE). CIPE grants permission to reprint, translate, and/or publish original articles from its
The views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE). CIPE grants permission to reprint, translate, and/or publish original articles from itsEconomic Reform Feature Service provided that (1) proper attribution is given to the original author and to CIPE and (2) CIPE is notified where the article is placed and a copy is provided to CIPE’s Washington office.
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