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, COMMUNICATIONS, AND KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT
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.
Washington, DC – On the CIPE Development Blog, Director for Policy Reform Aleksandr Shkolnikov analyzed the challenges corruption continues to pose in post-Soviet states; Africa Senior Program Officer Lars Benson discussed CIPE’s unique approach to measuring the quality of governance on the local level in Kenya; and Global Program Officer Anna Nadgrodkiewicz reflected on the role civil society organizations play in fighting corruption through self-regulation.
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.
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 online (in Chinese).
Philippines – The Hills Center for Corporate Governance at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM), with which CIPE is partnering to train small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the country on anti-corruption strategies, secured the support of the Mindanao Business Council. In a meeting last week, the Executive Director of the Mindanao Business Council pledged to draft a board resolution encouraging all member companies to participate in AIM’s anti-corruption training programs. AIM staff also participated in a ceremony for the creation of the Steering Committee to oversee the implementation of the APEC Anti-Corruption Code of Conduct for Business. AIM was invited to participate in this initiative and has a seat on this Committee, on which it is joined by the Ombudsman’s Office, the National Competitiveness Council, Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Trade and Industry, and the SEC.
Kyrgyzstan – The Kyrgyzstan Stock Exchange Press Club held the second session of the Bishkek Economic Journalism School on December 10 in Bishkek for 28 representatives of various media outlets. During the session, a local expert made a presentation on the topic “Tourism in Kyrgyzstan.” The Bishkek Kyrgyzstan Economic Journalism School will hold a total of 16 Saturday sessions for Bishkek area journalists, to train them 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.
Russia – Raevsky and Brown attended a workshop of property market experts at the offices of CIPE partner in Saratov the Saratov Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI). The December 12 event, entitled “Yours and Theirs: The Defense of Property Rights,” drew together more than 20 local specialists to discuss the results a series of focus groups that the SCCI held in November to define priority issues for SMEs in the realm of local property markets. Moderated by SCCI Vice President Sergei Leonov, the workshop was part of an ongoing NED-funded project to identify advocacy priorities for reform of local laws and regulations governing property markets. Raevsky and Brown also met with the SCCI President Maxim Fateev, to discuss the overall business climate in Saratov and across Russia.
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 – Four representatives of the National Business Agenda (NBA) network's Coordinating Council took part in a roundtable organized by the State Tax Service on tax reform priorities for 2011-2015. This was the first time that Moldova’s State Tax Service held open consultations with the business community. The permanent representative of the International Monetary Fund, Tohir Mirzoev, moderated the event. Also in attendance were the Chairman of the Parliament’s Committee on the Economy, Budget and Finance, and several Deputy Ministers of the Economy. Members of the Coordinating Council presented the priorities outlined by business associations in the recently-launched 2012-2013 NBA, supported by CIPE. Among the key proposals were: simplifying tax reporting procedures, eliminating overlapping tax reports, and abolishing planned tax penalties. The participants called for a continuing direct and open dialogue with the State Tax Service through the creation of a permanent advisory committee.
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.
Venezuela – The Center for the Dissemination of Economic Knowledge (CEDICE) held a roundtable to discuss the theme, “Who will protect the consumer in 2012: The Law of Costs and Fair Prices or the Exchange Rate?” During this roundtable, participants analyzed the impact of the Law of Costs and Fair prices and its associated regulations in both the consumer and formal trade structures.
MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA
Iraq – On December 10, CIPE partner the Iraq 2020 Assembly organized a policy workshop on reforming Iraq’s company registration law to modernize it, make sure it adheres to the Iraqi Constitution, and boost efficiency for business owners. Representatives from the Iraqi Parliament’s Economic Committee, the State Advisory Council, the Ministry of Trade, commercial unions, civil society, and international organizations participated in the discussion to finalize reform recommendations. Because of Iraq 2020’s efforts, the Iraqi Parliament has agreed to host a second workshop on the company registration law to ensure that private sector voices are incorporated in the revision.
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.
Afghanistan – CIPE conducted a training seminar on reducing corruption for members of the Provincial Councils of Nangahar, Kunar, and Lagman Provinces. Nearly 50 people participated in the event, including provincial council members, local government officials and representatives of the private sector.
Afghanistan – On December 13, CIPE staff met with Mohammad Hassan Sepahi, a member of the Economic Commission of the Afghan National Assembly. Mr. Sepahi reported that the Economic Commission has agreed to put forth several policy recommendations in support of the Afghanistan National Business Agenda, which was launched in March 2011 with CIPE support. These policies include providing land and utilities for business, lowering tariffs on items important to domestic industry, and ensuring quality control of products crossing border checkpoints.
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.
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 – CIPE Deputy Country Director Hammad Siddiqui conducted a capacity-building session on policy advocacy for 12 board members of the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI). Participants included RCCI’s current President and two past presidents. The session also examined how to increase the advocacy impact of CIPE’s annual Chamber Presidents’ Conference, which has been jointly organized with RCCI.
Pakistan – CIPE Country Director Moin Fudda participated in the Management Association of Pakistan Annual Convention on Leadership Challenges, which was attended by 250 local and foreign business leaders.
Calendar of Events for the Week of December 19 - 25
December 20 Corporate Governance Workshop, Baghdad, Iraq (Karbala Chamber of Commerce)
- 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