News from the Free Enterprise and Democracy Network


Free Enterprise and Democracy Network (FEDN) members have been providing technical assistance in democratic transitions and sharing their experiences in economic reform. Here are some highlights of their activities.

In December, former Finance Minister of the Philippines and Chairman of the Institute for Solidarity in Asia Dr. Jesus Estanislao held roundtable discussions with five political parties as part of a joint project with the International Republican Institute to enhance political parties’ capacity to develop economic platforms. Dr. Estanislao shared his experience with the Philippines’ democratic and economic transition, as well as the country’s approach to decentralization.

In March Andrzej Arendarski, President of the Polish Chamber of Commerce, shared his experiences in democratic and economic reform, starting with the Solidarity trade union, through his role in government and his recent work on deregulation. This is the latest in a FEDN interview series that has featured Jesus P. Estanislao and Boris Begovic, Senior Fellow, Center for Liberal Democratic Studies, a former advisor to the federal government of Yugoslavia on economic liberalization. Dr. Begovic also published an article on “How Democracy Influences Growth” with CIPE, which became the basis for a working paper of Stanford’s Center on Democracy, Development, and Rule of Law.

Selima Ahmad, a FEDN steering committee member and founder of the Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry, joined a CIPE panel to present success stories in public-private dialogue at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Moscow. Besides BWCCI’s success in obtaining no-collateral loans for women entrepreneurs, it has recently concluded an agreement with the United Nations Development Programme to provide a cross-border B2B platform to small and medium enterprises in Bangladesh.

To really grasp the Principles of Free Enterprise and Democracy, it is worth reviewing the FEDN webinar in which panelists Selima Ahmad, Jaroslav Romanchuk, Boris Begovic, and Aurelio Concheso engaged in a discussion on the importance of private property rights and the rule of law as the underpinnings for democratic governance, entrepreneurship, and economic growth. These themes were also taken up in a CSIS event, “Combating Global Poverty: Investing in the Governance and Growth Nexus,” featuring CIPE Executive Director John Sullivan.

The Free Enterprise and Democracy Network (FEDN) aims to draw attention to the economic underpinnings of democratic transition and to bring private sector voices into policy discourse on democracy. Founded in 2012, the network provides a mechanism for private sector leaders and advocates of economic freedom across the world to exchange ideas and support, and helps them to make the case for democratic, prosperous societies.

Published Date: April 08, 2014