CIPE Update for the Week of May 23, 2014
U.S. Chamber of Commerce (USCC) President and CEO Tom Donohue writes on the 30-year relationship between CIPE and the USCC; CIPE partners participate in roundtable on entrepreneurship in Ukraine; CIPE ChamberLINKS participants present lessons learned in Washington, DC
Washington, DC – U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tom Donohue wrote about CIPE’s 30-year history of supporting free enterprise and democracy around the world. Since its inception, CIPE has been an affiliate of the USCC and has served as a model and an inspiration for many CIPE initiatives.
Ukraine – Over 60 participants took part on May 21 in a roundtable discussion regarding the support that the Ukrainian government currently provides to entrepreneurs in the areas of disability insurance, pension benefits, health care and tax incentives. The event, held in Sumy by the CIPE-supported Sumy Small and Medium Business Coalition, featured presentations from CIPE partner coalitions advocating for increased government support for entrepreneurs in the Mykolaiv, Cherkassy and Chernigov regions. Business association leaders, government officials, entrepreneurs and local journalists took part. Participants agreed to approach members of Ukraine’s parliament from Sumy to push for changes to existing laws on support to entrepreneurs.
Washington, DC – This year’s ChamberLINKS (Leaders, Innovators, and Knowledge Sharing) participants came together this week in Washington, DC to conclude their program. They met with representatives from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Global Entrepreneurship Week, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the U.S. Congress, and CIPE staff. At CIPE, the participants gave presentations about lessons learned and what new project ideas they hope to apply once they return to their home organizations. The participants hailed from Georgia, Kenya, Pakistan, Serbia, and Venezuela, and were placed with host organizations in Washington, DC (three participants), Denver, CO (one participant), and Ponca City, OK (one participant).
GLOBAL PROGRAMS, COMMUNICATION, AND KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT
Washington, DC – At an event hosted by the International Forum for Democratic Studies at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) on May 19, the Johannesburg-based Centre for Development and Enterprise (CDE) presented a report on the Democracy Works project, which compares development experiences of India, Brazil, and South Africa. “The Democratic Alternative from the South,” authored by CDE Executive Director Ann Bernstein, notes the achievements of these three democratic market economies, illustrates the advantages of democracy, and argues for multi-faceted reforms to sustain inclusive growth. CIPE Executive Director John D. Sullivan introduced the event, and Director of the Transitions Forum of London’s Legatum Institute Anne Applebaum moderated. The event featured CDE Executive Director Ann Bernst ein, Senior Fellow at Instituto de Estudos do Trabalho e Sociedade in Rio de Janeiro Simon Schwartzman, and Academic Director of the University of Pennsylvania Institute for the Advanced Study of India Eswaran Sridharan.
Washington, DC – On May 21, CIPE Director of Multiregional Programs Anna Nadgrodkiewicz presented the International Property Markets Scorecard, CIPE’s tool for mapping the institutional components of property markets and prioritizing reforms, to students enrolled in the Emerging Markets course at the Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies. Her co-presenters were Director of the Office of Site Acquisitions and Disposals at the U.S. Department of State Jason Dallara and Senior Land Administration Specialist at the World Bank Robin Rajack.
Washington, DC – On the CIPE Development Blog, CIPE ChamberLINKS participant Frida W. Mbugua explored the lessons she learned from her time with the Manufacturing Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (www.cipe.org/blog/2014/05/16/lessons-from-u-s-manufacturing-associations-for-kenya/), Social Media and Communications Coordinator Jon Custer noted the anniversary of the relationship between CIPE and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (www.cipe.org/blog/2014/05/19/celebrating-30-years-as-a-u-s-chamber-of-commerce-affiliate/), Global Programs Program Officer Maiko Nakagaki discussed the possibility of decentralization as means to solve Lebanon’s political stalemate (www.cipe.org/blog/2014/05/19/can-decentralization-solve-political-gridlock-in-lebanon/), CIPE Kenya Field Representative Ben Kiragu highlighted Kenyan efforts to create jobs through port reforms (www.cipe.org/blog/2014/05/20/can-kenyas-government-replicate-ports-success-to-create-jobs/), CIPE Pakistan Program Officer Muhammad Talib Uz Zaman talked about Pakistani business loans as a means of youth empowerment (www.cipe.org/blog/2014/05/21/business-loan-program-for-pakistan-youth-is-only-a-first-step/), Middle East & North Africa Program Officer Pamela Beecroft blogged about the call of CIPE partner the Tunisia-based Arab Institute of Business Leaders to everyday citizens for taking part in the search for economic change (www.cipe.org/blog/2014/05/22/tunisian-business-leaders-weigh-in-on-countrys-future/) and CIPE-Atlas Corps Think Tank LINKS Fellow Narayan Adhikari addressed an opportunity for Nepal to capitalize on its burgeoning youth population (www.cipe.org/blog/2014/05/23/indexing-the-well-being-of-youth-an-opportunity-for-nepal/).
Washington, DC – The blog post titled “How Does Corruption Affect the Alibaba IPO?” written by Assistant Program Officer for Global Programs Frank Stroker was referenced in the Wall Street Journal’s Risk and Compliance Journal, a forum for presenting analysis of governance and anti-corruption compliance around the world (http://blogs.wsj.com/riskandcompliance/2014/05/15/corruption-currents-from-sprints-legal-challenge-to-russian-borrowing-troubles/). The blog was also mentioned on Transparency International’s Global Anticorruption Blog (http://globalanticorruptionblog.com/2014/05/22/guest-post-the-alibaba-ipo-open-sesame-time-for-anticorruption/).
Senegal – CIPE partner l’Union Nationale des Commercants et Industriels du Senegal (UNACOIS) completed a study on the major constraints facing entrepreneurial women in Senegal. Results showed that difficulty accessing finance was at the top of the list. The study was led by a team of UNACOIS women leaders from across the country and will be used to inform a high-level national public-private dialogue roundtable with the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the media, and female business owners in June. This is the first advocacy initiative undertaken by UNACOIS looking specifically at improving the business operating environment for women. Additionally, the June public-private dialogue will be the first event of its kind led by leading Senegalese business women.
Nigeria – CIPE partner the Enugu Coalition of Business and Professional Associations (ECOBPA) organized a business roundtable to discuss the findings of a field survey it recently conducted on the Impact of Corruption on Commerce and Business Development in Enugu state. The forum afforded members of the coalition the opportunity to meaningfully contribute towards drafting of a policy paper which will be used to engage the relevant agencies of government on reforms that will improve the state’s business environment. The forum had 89 members in attendance. The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of Enugu State attended and promised the cooperation of the ministry in achieving the ECOBPA’s advocacy program goals. In an effort to create adequate public awareness for the program, ECOBPA previously held a discussion program on the Enugu station of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria. The topic of discussion was Unders tanding the Effects and Impact of Corruption on Business Growth and Economic Development in Enugu State. Members of the public that called-in during the program commended ECOBPA’s efforts to ameliorate the devastating effects of corruption on business activities. CIPE is working with ECOBPA to establish ongoing dialogue between the public and private sectors on monitoring and combating corruption.
China – The Unirule Institute of Economics continued its series of public policy discussion forums in Beijing. This forum series, of which the most recent was the 501st under Unirule’s partnership with CIPE, provided a unique (and rare) venue for free and open discussion of relevant political issues inside China. The topic of the most recent forum was “China’s Transformation to Democracy.” Keynote speaker Professor Zhang Ming of Renmin University argued that China’s eventual transformation to democracy is inevitable. China’s past experiences pertaining to this subject in the early 1900s, according to Professor Zhang, are relevant to the success of the future transformation. Ultimately, Professor Zhang suggested that China may embark upon a transition path similar to that of Great Britain.
Albania – From May 20-22, CIPE Consultant Carmen Stanila traveled to Tirana to work with the Albanian Center for Economic Research and the Association of Meat Importers, Processors and Accessories of Albania on refining a draft policy paper on tax inspections. The policy paper was developed as part of a current program that aims to increase dialogue between the public and private sector on economic reform.
Moldova – CIPE Eurasia Program Officer Natalia Otel Belan and CIPE Consultant Camelia Bulat held a number of sessions with the Institute for Development and Social Initiatives and the National Business Agenda (NBA) network’s Strategic Council to discuss upcoming public hearing on tax inspections, and to develop a two-year strategy going forward for the NBA.
LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN
Bolivia – On May 15, Fundación Milenio released its weekly economic analysis bulletin featuring an analysis on the volatile growth and social disparities in the Department of Chuquisaca. These economic analysis bulletins form part of CIPE’s and Milenio’s efforts to cultivate a more informed citizenship in the area of economic policy. They are available for download in Spanish on Milenio’s website.
Bolivia – On April 29, three participants of Populi Foundation’s CIPE-supported “Young Leaders, Intellectual Entrepreneurs” program were invited to participate in a television program entitled “Social Responsibility – Citizen Support” on the University TV Channel. Jessica Carmona Ascarrunz, Limber Añez, and José Antonio de la Cruz Dávalos participated in a debate on the importance of quality education.
Venezuela – The Center for the Dissemination of Economic Knowledge (CEDICE) released two Cost Benefit Analyses. The first analyzes the central bank’s inflationary policy of introducing inorganic currency into the system and causing inflation. The second analyzes the government’s restrictive policy on currency exchanges and its monopoly of the exchange markets. These analyses form part of CIPE’s and CEDICE’s efforts to foster a more informed public on issues of economic policy and are available on CEDICE’s website.
Venezuela – On May 20, CEDICE economist Dr. Isabel Pereira presented on the socioeconomic situation in Venezuela and the opportunities for progress at the Social Alliance Committee of the Venezuelan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (Venamcham).
Venezuela – On May 19 and 20, the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Production (FEDECAMARAS) held a two day training program entitled “Learning to be an Entrepreneur” in Valera. Thirty-two entrepreneurs received information on entrepreneurship, free markets, and democracy. These training programs form part of CIPE’s and FEDECAMARAS’ efforts to foster entrepreneurship and free markets in Venezuela.
Regional – On the CIPE-supported RevistaPerspectiva.com, Perspectiva journalists Nicolás Rudas and Javier Abril provided analysis on the Colombian presidential campaign, researcher for Dejusticia José Rafael Espinosa and Executive Director of the Corporation for Excellence in Justice Gloria María Borrero gave their perspectives on Álvaro Uribe’s contribution to the peace process in Colombia, and Director of the Venezuelan Electoral Monitor Ignacio Ávalos discussed the upcoming unconstitutional elections in the states of Táchira and Carabobo.
MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
Egypt – CIPE, along with its Egypt Tomorrow Economic Forum (ETEF) and the Al Qarar El Masry business daily, held a seminar on May 18, 2014 entitled “Development and Possibilities,” focused on energy policy in Egypt. The 50 participants included ETEF members, professionals in the energy sector, financiers, and Egypt’s private equity community. The discussion focused on how to reform the energy subsidy regime while avoiding an economic shock or hardship on the part of the general population. Comprised of 20 successful entrepreneurs in business and social ventures who are also active in the political and civic arena from a variety of economic and political schools of thought, the ETEF released a vision document in late 2013 outlining its economic reform priorities for Egypt. This seminar was a part of a larger effort to expand upon the recommendations in the vision document and translate them to specific, actionable policy recommendatio ns.
Jordan – On May 19, CIPE partner the Young Entrepreneurs Association (YEA) met with several chambers of commerce and business associations in Amman, Ma’an, and Karak as key stakeholders in an emerging coalition to advocate for the Small and Medium Business Agenda (SMBA). The SMBA, which YEA developed with CIPE’s support and on the basis of extensive stakeholder input, contains policy recommendations to improve the business environment for entrepreneurs and SMEs in Jordan. The private sector coalition being assembled by YEA is preparing to push for adoption of its reform recommendations through extensive advocacy efforts in the coming months.
West Bank/Gaza – On May 13, CIPE partner the Palestine Governance Institute (PGI) convened a workshop on the governance structure of the Nablus Business Women Forum (NBWF) at the Nablus Chamber of Commerce. The 25 participants included prominent local businesswomen and civil society activists. PGI Executive Director Dr. Hisham Awartani, the Chair and Director-General of the Nablus Chamber of Commerce, and the Chair of NBWF led a discussion about methods for optimizing the organizational structure of NBWF and improving the competitiveness of member firms.
West Bank/Gaza – On May 14, PGI presented its new Corporate Governance Manual for Family-Owned Firms at the Hebron Chamber of Commerce. The Manual — co-published with the Federation of Palestinian Chambers of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture and the first manual of its kind in Palestine — provides guidance aimed at improving the governance of small businesses which are not otherwise covered by existing corporate governance codes. PGI developed the manual, in coordination with CIPE, through extensive stakeholder consultation and input from numerous experts in related institutions. Following an introduction by the Chairman of the Hebron Chamber, the authors of the Manual provided an overview of its main provisions, focusing on legal, administrative, financial, and accounting issues. The discussion generated considerable interest among the participants, who were eager to learn more about improving the governance structures of their firms. All partici pants were given copies of the Manual and encouraged to contact PGI with further questions and feedback.
Pakistan – This week CIPE Country Director Moin Fudda moderated a panel discussion at a meeting on “Rules of Corporate Governance for Public Sector Companies,” organized by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan and the World Bank. The event was attended by 150 participants, including key government officials and business leaders.
Afghanistan – In preparing the Nangarhar Provincial Business Agenda, CIPE held a meeting this week in Jalalabad with local business groups to discuss forming a coalition to oversee the process. Eleven people attended, including representatives from the Agricultural Development Association, Afghanistan Builders Association, Federation of Afghanistan Craftsmen and Traders, Handicrafts Association, Beekeeping Association of Nangarhar, Medical Services Association, Industrialist Association, and the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Calendar of Events for the Week of May 23 – May 29
5/23 – 5/25 - The Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Production Coaches Training: Learning to Be an Entrepreneur in Caracas, Venezuela (FEDECAMARAS)
5/24 – Corporate Governance School 3rd Training Seminar for Board Members in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
5/26 - Enugu Coalition of Business and Professional Associations Roundtable with Anti-Corruption Agencies in Enugu, Nigeria