Anti-Corruption Initiatives from a Business View Point

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After years of being tolerated with a mixture of apathy, cynicism, and denial, corruption is now becoming a target of serious international action. As firms around the world face slimmer profit margins due to increased competition, the international business community is becoming increasingly aware that corruption is costing them money–profits. The added cost of corruption, particularly in developing countries where it is more pervasive, has made business change the way it operates globally. Corporations have learned a lesson from the Asian crisis and they are becoming more wary of where they invest and of the internal climate there towards business. As we face these new and severe realities, the business communities in many countries are signaling to lawmakers that they are tired of corrupt dealings and that it is time for change. Business is acknowledging that corruption is an issue that must be faced, and that they, the private sector, have a role in eliminating this disease. However, business is certainly not the only victim of corruption; the citizens of developing countries who are losing valuable resources are victimized to an even greater degree. The poor share disproportionately in the negative effects of corrupt behavior in the form of lost jobs and income. In the developing world, resources and funds that could go into infrastructure, education, and other elements integral to development end up lining someone’s pocket due to the effects of corruption. Corruption scares away investment that could reach those areas and bring new prosperity.

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CIPE

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