Monthly Report, December 2011
Washington, DC – Congratulations to the winners of the 2011 CIPE International Editorial Cartoon Competition! On December 8, CIPE announced the first, second, and third place winners for three cartoon categories: democracy, corruption, and gender equality. Semifinalists were chosen by a distinguished panel of eight judges, including Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated political cartoonist Pat Oliphant, and then the Competition finalists were determined by an online voting system opened up to the public. To see the cartoon contest winners and semifinalists, visit www.cipe.org/cartoon!
Washington, DC – On December 6, in partnership with the The Safadi Foundation USA, The Program on Arab Reform and Democracy at Stanford University’s Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law, and the Middle East Program of the Woodrow Wilson Center, CIPE sponsored a conference entitled “In the Middle of the Storm: Development and Governance in the Arab World.” As part of the conference, which identified policy solutions to current governance issues hindering political and economic development in the region, CIPE Executive Director John D. Sullivan moderated a panel on the connection between energy reform and development in the Arab world. Throughout the conference, speakers such as World Bank Vice-President for the Middle East and North Africa Inger Andersen; Undersecretary of State for Economic, Energy, and Agricultural Affairs Robert D. Hormats; International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde; U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Middle East Mara Rudman; Lebanon Minister of Finance Mohammad Safadi; and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Tamara Wittes, focused on the need for economic reform to accompany the political reform underway in the Arab world
Istanbul, Turkey – CIPE Deputy Director Jean Rogers represented CIPE at the Entrepreneurship Summit, hosted by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in follow up to the 2010 initiative hosted by President Obama. Vice President Joseph Biden was a key speaker at the event, and his remarks hit CIPE themes directly: “Democratic revolutions like the ones in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya – and the ones still unfolding in Syria and Yemen – are imbued, literally imbued with entrepreneurial spirit, a spirit that requires risk and initiative, steadfast determination, and a unifying idea,” he said. “They aim to do more than merely change the government which is in power, but also to end practices like authoritarianism, corruption, the stifling of free expression -- practices that make political and economic freedom impossible… Today, the true wealth of a nation is found in the creative minds of its people and their freedom and ability to bring those ideas to life – to develop not only new products, but the technologies that will create entirely new industries, entire new markets, entire new opportunities.” Asked about Turkey’s opinion on the current European Union crisis, Turkey’s Economic Minister also echoed CIPE themes, noting that the values Turkey seeks to further imbue in society are those that are strengthened through the accession process and the policy debates that happen during it. “Turkey needs more democracy,” he said, noting that it is these shared values that entice Turkey more than specific economic goals. More than 1,000 participants attended the Summit, including entrepreneurs and innovators, university faculty and students, nongovernmental organizations, government officials, and business leaders. A parallel Youth Entrepreneurship Summit and several side events brought additional momentum to the gathering. One of CIPE’s partners from Algeria, Slim Othmani, was recognized with an Arab 500 award as a leading entrepreneur from Algeria; criteria for the award required transparent books to support evidence of high growth.
GLOBAL PROGRAMS, COMMUNICATION, AND KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT
CIPE released and distributed the following publications:
- Washington, DC – CIPE released the December Global Update, featuring highlights of CIPE’s involvement in Global Entrepreneurship Week (http://bit.ly/cipePrezi), new resources from the International Property Markets Scorecard project, and other new publications. To read the Global Update in full, visit www.cipe.org/newsletter/December2011.html.
- CIPE published the latest Economic Reform Feature Service article, “Russia and the World: A Comparison of Corporate Governance Practices.” In this article, four Russian corporate governance experts discuss the general trend of corporate governance in Russia; differences between corporate governance in Russia and the West; and which segments of Russia’s private sector are becoming better at implementing good corporate governance practices (www.cipe.org/publications/fs/pdf/103111_Russia.pdf).CIPE released the latest Economic Reform Feature Service article, titled “Women Entrepreneurs: Seizing Opportunities and Making a Difference,” which highlights remarks from the panel on economic empowerment at CIPE’s Democracy that Delivers for Women conference. You can read the article in full here: www.cipe.org/featureservice/?p=682
- Washington, DC – CIPE distributed the latest issue of Democracy in Action, featuring stories about CIPE partners who are helping to strengthen transparency and access to information around the world. Read the issue online at www.cipe.org/democracyInAction/120111/.
- CIPE’s Knowledge Management department launched the Leading Practices website, a platform for sharing innovative and effective practices in democratic and market reform. By sharing leading practices from past and current partners, CIPE aims to promote benchmarking and the replication of effective ideas. To learn more, visit the website at http://leading-practices.cipe.wikispaces.net/.
Nigeria – CIPE partner the Center for Entrepreneurship, Skill Acquisition and Sustainable Development (CESAD) held two training programs – one each in Benue and Plateau states – for 20 top executive staff members from each of the State Executive Branches to deepen public-private partnerships to promote a more enabling business environment. The participants, who are largely responsible for policy formation in their state, learned about how to draft effective economic policy legislation around private sector priorities, such as taxation, power and security. CIPE consultant Fred Whiting and CIPE Field Representative Wumi Gbadamosi facilitated the program along with CESAD staff. At the conclusion of the program, the participants developed a ‘to-do’ list based on what they themselves perceive as constraints to the growth of a strong market economy in their state. Each participant then created their own personal action plans on the way forward, identifying specific reforms in current government practices, procedures and laws that will improve the business operating environment in their states.
Nigeria – AllAfrica.com and Nigeria’s National Accord newspaper featured stories about the work of CIPE’s partner, the Center for Entrepreneurship, Skill Acquisition and Sustainable Development (CESAD), to improve the dialogue between the public and private sectors in the North-Central Zone to help elected officials comprehend the importance of market-oriented legislation. At workshops in Plateau and Niger state for the staff of the State House of Assembly, CESAD CEO Mr. Ezekiel Gomos, stressed the need for government officials and the private sector to work together to remove the challenges towards reversing the low industrial and economic development of the geographical zone. CIPE Field Representative in Africa Mrs. Wumi Gbadamosi and CIPE consultant Mr. Fred Whiting also facilitated the workshops.
Uganda – CIPE Senior Program Officer Lars Benson visited Hoima and Bulisse in Northwest Uganda as part of a program with CIPE partner, the Kitara Heritage Economic Development Agency (KHEDA), to assist grassroots business organizations to participate in oil policy reform. The program includes meeting with government officials, private sector organizations, and civil society groups to understand their awareness of the pending oil and gas developments. Mr. Benson also met with USAID, the Private Sector Foundation of Uganda, Tullow Oil, Neptune Oil, the Civil Society Coalition on Oil, and KHEDA’s Board of Directors.
China – In the latest of its series of biweekly policy discussion forums, the Unirule Institute of Economics led a discussion on “Recent Macroeconomic Trends in China.” This was Unirule’s 440th policy discussion forum.
China – In the latest of its series of biweekly policy discussion forums, the Unirule Institute of Economics led a discussion on current issues affecting China’s economy. The keynote speaker was Mr. Li Weidong, a widely published political commentator. This event was covered by China Industry and Economy News, and a copies of this article can be viewed at: http://news.idoican.com.cn/zgcjxwb/html/2011-12/12/content_3269779.htm?div=0 and http://news.idoican.com.cn/zgcjxwb/html/2011-12/12/content_3269783.htm?div=-1.
Philippines – The Institute for Solidarity in Asia (ISA) presented an overview of its Public Governance System (PGS) to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). DTI will adopt the PGS later in November, and is particularly interested in using the PGS to improve public employee personnel performance monitoring. ISA Chairman Dr. Jesus Estanislao is developing a “culture transformation module” that seeks to walk public agencies through a process to fundamentally change organizational mission focus and culture.
Thailand – The Thai Institute of Directors (IOD) met with Mr. Shervin Majlessi, the new Regional Anti-Corruption Advisor to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Mr. Majlessi, with whom CIPE met in Bangkok in October, requested this meeting to discuss possible cooperation with IOD on raising public awareness on corruption risks during the post-flood recovery efforts. IOD is presently working with the UN on plans for an anti-corruption seminar on this topic for early next year. IOD also announced the addition of several new companies to IOD’s Collective Action Against Corruption Coalition, bringing the total number of companies in this coalition to 54, very near IOD’s year-end target of 60.
Kazakhstan – The Kazakhstan Institute of Directors (KID) hosted a series of seminars on corporate governance November 30- December 2 for 26 faculty members and 20 students from two universities in the city of Karaz. KID also hosted a series of corporate governance seminars December 1-3 for 25 faculty members and 38 students from four universities in the southern city of Shimkent. Discussion topics during both seminar sessions included the fundamentals of shareholder rights, the role of corporate governance in the efficiency of corporations, the current trends in corporate governance in Kazakhstan, issues associated with public IPOs, and the role of corporate governance in a democratic society.
Kyrgyzstan – The Kyrgyzstan Stock Exchange Press Club (KSEPC) held the first session of the Bishkek Economic Journalism School on December 3 in the city of Bishkek for 29 journalists representing the area’s largest print and internet media outlets. Two experts presented on the topics “Agriculture in Kyrgyzstan” and “Light Industry in Kyrgyzstan.” The Bishkek Kyrgyzstan Economic Journalism School will hold 16 Saturday sessions for Bishkek area journalists to train participants in the principles and methodologies of sound market-based institutions and processes.
Russia – CIPE Moscow office head Alexander Raevsky and Frank Brown, Program Officer for Ukraine and Russia, met on December 11 with members of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) mission in Russia to discuss CIPE’s ongoing, USAID-funded program to strengthen youth entrepreneurship in the North Caucasus region. The discussions with Mission Director Charles North and Regional Development Director Cory Johnston centered on a recent USAID visit with CIPE’s program partners in Chechnya, as well as the advocacy efforts of CIPE’s partners in 18 regional coalitions of Russian business associations. In a separate meeting, Raevsky and Brown discussed possible future cooperation with a representative of the Moscow office of Cushman & Wakefield, Denis Sokolov, in connection with CIPE’s National Endowment for Democracy (NED)-funded program to identify property rights advocacy priorities in the Saratov region.
Ukraine – CIPE Kyiv office head Nataliya Balandina and Program Officer for Russia and Ukraine Frank Brown met on December 15 with leaders of coalitions of Ukrainian SMEs to assess these groups’ priorities and needs. Head of the Hairdressers’ Union of Ukraine Alexei Antonyuk, coordinator of the All-Ukrainian Coalition of Small and Medium Businesses Oksana Prodan, , and head of the Union of Tenants and Entrepreneurs of Ukraine Viktor Khmelovsky, all emphasized the need to define better the needs of SMEs in the run-up to Ukraine’s parliamentary elections, which are set for autumn 2012.
SOUTHEAST EUROPE & THE CAUCASUS
Moldova – On October 27, the Institute for Development and Social Initiatives and the Federation of Employers in the Construction Sector “Condrumat” together with business association that are members of the National Business Agenda (NBA) network organized public debates at the newly opened exhibition Real Estate Moldova 2011. The debates focused on the need to reform the public procurement system. The main participants in the debates were representatives of the NBA network, the Ministry of Construction and Regional Development, the Director of the State Procurement Agency, and media.
Moldova – On December 6, the Institute for Development and Social Initiatives together with the Association of Professional Accountants and Auditors met representatives of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Moldova's State Tax Service. They discussed tax reform priorities put forward by the private sector through the National Business Agenda (NBA) process, supported by CIPE. As a result of the meeting, the IMF and the State Tax Service invited members of the coordinating council - that is leading the NBA network of associations - to speak at a conference on Tax Reform the IMF will organize on December 13.
Serbia – During November 22 – December 6, the Serbian Association of Managers (SAM) and the Center for Liberal-Democratic Studies (CLDS) in partnership with regional chambers of commerce conducted three consultation workshops with business people from Valjevo, Pozarevac, and Nis. In each city, about 15-20 representatives of small and medium-sized companies discussed obstacles to doing business and possible solutions. Among the key business challenges were labor issues, value-added tax, and licensing and certification problems. Based on the results of the consultations, CLDS will prepare two policy briefs with recommendations from the private sector. SAM and the chambers of commerce will present the policy papers to government in the next few months.
Argentina – The Center for the Implementation of Public Policies Promoting Equity and Growth (CIPPEC) presented the fiscal policy memo at the "Public Budget Conference" organized by the National Senate. Luciana Díaz Frers (Director of CIPPEC´s Fiscal Program), focused on the need to increase Congress’ level of participation in developing the budget, and the need to increase Congress' capabilities through a Congressional Budget Office. Diaz Frers also insisted on the need to design explicit and specific criteria about how budget funds are assigned. Approximately 30 advisers, legislators and journalists attended this conference.
Bolivia – Fundación Milenio released its 127th economic analysis bulletin, featuring an analysis of industrial policy and development. Milenio distributed the bulletin to key journalists, as well as to more than 800 subscribers to Milenio’s electronic database. This bulletin examines ideas for a strategy of industrial development. The report is available for download in Spanish on Milenio’s website.
Ecuador – CIPE consultant Luciana Díaz Frers traveled to Quito, Ecuador to work with the Corporation for Development Studies (CORDES). Ms. Díaz, who led a similar successful program at the Center for the Implementation of Public Policies Promoting Equity and Growth in Argentina, helped CORDES staff to fine tune their own CIPE-sponsored legislative advisory program.
Paraguay – To celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week, the Paraguayan Foundation sponsored events throughout Paraguay to promote entrepreneurship and develop the qualities and competencies of entrepreneurs. These activities included forums, workshops, informal as well as formal chats and discussions about entrepreneurship, and entrepreneurship fairs in 23 different locations in Paraguay. For more information about these events, as well as a full schedule of activities, please visit the Community of Young Entrepreneurs website.
Peru – Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean John Zemko traveled to Lima, Peru to participate in the OECD Latin America Corporate Governance Roundtable Mr. Zemko served as a lead commentator for a panel on the role of corporate governance in preventing corruption. The conference was attended by 200 business leaders, international organization representatives, securities regulators, and pension and equity fund managers.
MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA
Egypt – On November 1, CIPE Egypt Program Director Randa Al Zoghbi and Program Officer Seif El Khawanky participated in an International Labor Organization roundtable designed to lay the groundwork for its upcoming Women's Employment and Empowerment Project. During the roundtable, which featured U.S. State Department Bureau of Democracy Rights and Labor Director for International Labor Affairs Mark Mittelhauser and Labor Officer Caitlin Helfrich, 15 representatives from different civil society organizations discussed the project’s proposed focus and the creation of a partnership network among activists and stakeholders. The participants discussed the process of building institutions to provide channels of participation to women.
Iraq – On December 2, CIPE hosted a group of Iraqi economic policymakers as part of the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program. CIPE MENA Senior Program Officer Greg Simpson and Program Officer Maura O’Brien-Ali facilitated a discussion focusing on the need for private sector input in government policymaking. CIPE highlighted its provincial business agenda program as examples of successful private-public partnership in improving the business environment. The Iraqis expressed particular interest in learning more about CIPE’s approach to combating corruption.
Iraq – On December 13, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce hosted Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki for a luncheon discussion of Iraq’s business environment. CIPE was a co-sponsor. The event, attended by 300 American and Iraqi private and public sector representatives, civil society organizations, and the media, drew attention to the continued need for reform of Iraq’s laws and regulations to facilitate broad-based growth and prosperity.
West Bank – On December 14, CIPE partner the Business Women Forum (BWF) conducted the third in a series of CIPE-supported workshops on business negotiation, convening 20 businesswomen and entrepreneurs in Hebron in cooperation with the Hebron Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Led by expert trainer Hussam Nazzal, the workshop focused on best practices of business negotiation. The workshop also served to strengthen relationships among Palestinian businesswomen and entrepreneurs.
Bangladesh – On December 9, the Chittagong Divisional branch of the Bangladesh Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BWCCI) organized a rally marking International Anticorruption Day. In all, across the country, over 300 BWCCI members took part in various events to raise awareness about the need to reduce corruption.
India – Regional Director for Eurasia and South Asia Andrew Wilson and South Asia Program Officer Marc Schleifer are in New Delhi this week on a program development trip to discuss with a range of stakeholders the quality of property markets institutions in India. Wilson and Schleifer are holding meetings with a number of think tanks, business organizations, and private sector leaders.
Nepal – On December 16, Samriddhi, the Prosperity Foundation, is holding a second round of high-level consultation meetings as part of the process of preparing its Nepal Economic Growth Agenda (NEGA). These meetings are designed to finalize the choice of five economic sectors that will be the focus of the NEGA. Approximately 20 participants in the meeting will include senior bureaucrats, economists, bankers, business leaders, and representatives of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
Pakistan – The Ministry of Finance announced the creation of a taskforce to examine the issue of corporate governance in state owned enterprises (SOEs) and recommend drafting a corporate governance code for such companies. CIPE Pakistan Country Director Moin Fudda has been working with the Ministry for over a year to encourage the launch of this taskforce. Fudda will be a member of the taskforce, together with representatives of key SOEs, the Pakistan Institute of Corporate Governance, and the Pakistan Institute of Chartered Accountants.
Pakistan – In Karachi on October 31, together with the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, CIPE organized a business policy roundtable on the topic of "Informal Enterprise in Pakistan: Challenges for Growth.” Regional Director for Eurasia and South Andrew Wilson and Pakistan Country Director Moin Fudda, were panelists. Wilson provided insights on informality gained from CIPE's experience carrying out related projects worldwide. Over 35 participants included representatives of large corporations, chambers, the State Bank of Pakistan, microfinance institutions, and the media. Further information can be found at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/285820/informal-sector-grows-faster-than-formal-economy/ and www.brecorder.com/business-a-economy/single/672/189/1247699/.
- Democratic Governance
- Access to Information
- Combating Corruption
- Business Association Development
- Corporate Governance
- Legal & Regulatory Reform
- Informal Sector & Property Rights
- Corporate Citizenship (CSR)
- South Asia
- Southeast Europe
- Middle East & North Africa
- Latin America & the Caribbean
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