August, 10-14,2009



 Armenia – The CIPE Program Officer for Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, Natalia Otel Belan, is traveling in Armenia this week, where she conducted meetings with members of the Business Advocacy Network to discuss the Network’s program achievements and upcoming plans.  The Network, which advocates for a better business environment for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), consists of 16 business support organizations from across Armenia, including chambers of commerce and industry, several business associations, and business-oriented NGOs.

 Belarus – On August 4, the Minsk Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers held its monthly teleconference with regional business associations, with 87 participants representing 12 associations.  Conversation focused on a government order (Resolution #991) that had made it illegal for businesses to purchase goods from anyone but manufacturers and authorized dealers; this would have made all wholesalers and distributors illegal, and did not establish an alternative for businesses to acquire goods.  The teleconference participants were part of the effort to oppose the resolution, which threatened up to 40% of Belarus’ SMEs, and which the government has since repealed, due to overwhelming opposition from the business community and media.

 Belarus – The Analytical Center Strategy presented the 2009 National Business Platform at an August 6 meeting at the British Embassy to introduce members of the diplomatic corps to members of the business community.  A total of 27 people attended the meeting, including diplomats from eight countries.  On August 7, Strategy presented the 2009 National Business Platform to 38 people at a meeting in Vitebsk, which focused on strategies for overcoming the financial crisis.  Participants’ questions mainly concerned problems related to rent, inspections, fines, and licenses.

 Kazakhstan – The Institute of Directors sent its new textbook, “Corporate Governance – the Kazakhstan Context,” to 99 university libraries throughout the country.  Each university will receive ten hardcopies of the book and three CDs containing a digital version of the book, PowerPoint presentations of each chapter, lesson plans, and various CIPE materials.

 Ukraine – The Property and Freedom Institute (PFI) has prepared a brochure on “Implementation of Ukraine’s WTO Obligations,” on the basis of its July 1 roundtable on the same topic.  The brochure includes an analytical introduction; transcripts from the roundtable, including speakers’ papers and PowerPoint presentations; recommendations from the roundtable participants to Parliament, the Cabinet of Ministers and the business community; and an analysis of Ukraine’s various WTO obligations, with implementation status and timeline.


 China – The Transition Institute (TSE) conducted its latest discussion group on public policy and reform in China on August 8. Mr. Ma Ying, Country Representative of SAI, spoke to an audience of more than 50 about Corporate Responsibility. SAI is an international non-profit organization dedicated to ethical business practices and worker rights. It is best known for its SA8000 initiative, which is a management tool that helps to ensure ethical practices throughout a company’s supply chain.

 Mongolia – The Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI) is in the process of implementing a scoring system for members of parliament modeled after the “Spirit of Enterprise” program of the U.S. Chamber that involves a scoring system for members of Congress. This is a joint initiative of CIPE and MNCCI.

 Philippines – On August 7, the Institute for Solidarity in Asia (ISA) and the Philippine Department of Health finalized the details of a performance scorecard and strategy map for the Department’s enrollment in ISA’s Public Governance System (PGS). On August 10, ISA met with officials from the Philippine Department of Transportation to continue the development of the Department’s PGS scorecard and strategy, and the following day, ISA met with nearly 60 officials from the Philippine National Police, led by Director Jesus Versoza, to discuss the details of its agency scorecard. These government agencies are three of six agencies of the national government that were cited as being highly prone to corruption in a recent donor report, and all six are enrolling in the PGS to improve their performance.


 Afghanistan – CIPE Afghanistan distributed over 7,000 textbooks and exercise books for CIPE’s Tashabos high school entrepreneurship course to 23 high schools in Kabul province.

 Afghanistan – CIPE conducted a workshop on “Good Democratic Governance and the Market Economy” for members of the Economic and Budget Commission of the upper house of the National Assembly.  Eight members of the Assembly attended the workshop, which explored the links between free markets and democracy.  The national broadcast system, Radio and Television of Afghanistan (RTA), broadcasted the event.

 Pakistan – CIPE Pakistan Country Director Moin M. Fudda moderated a panel discussion on “Family Enterprises Beyond the Third Generation” at the Entrepreneurship ’09 conference.  The event was attended by over 200 people from various family-owned businesses.  Mr. Fudda discussed how good corporate governance practices help ensure long-term sustainability and access to capital.


 Colombia- CIPE’s partner the Political Science Institute (ICP) co- hosted an event on “The Political Reform and its Challenges,” featuring Justice Vice Minister Miguel Ceballos, the  President of Congress, Javier Caceres, Executive Director of Transparencia por Colombia, Elizabeth Ungar, and former Minister of Interior, Humberto de la Calle. About 50 people attended the event and received copies of the latest issue of CIPE’s sponsored Perspectiva magazine. 

 Regional- CIPE’s sponsored Spanish language Perspectiva Blog discussed recent developments in alternative energies, President Rafael Correa’s policies, and Venezuela’s government incursion in the filmmaking industry this week. The blog is averaging more than 220 unique hits per day. You can read Perspectiva’s Blog at


 Iraq – CIPE MENA Regional Director Abdulwahab Alkebsi travelled to Iraq from August 8-12 where he met with the leadership of CIPE partner Kurdistan Information & Strategic Study Center (KISSC) to evaluate progress on CIPE’s Kurdistan Business Agenda project and the future strategic direction of the project.  He started to implement CIPE’s forward plan for the Iraq program, including adding more capabilities in Baghdad.  Related to this, he assessed the current security situation and reviewed visa requirements for staff and consultants for future travel to the country.  In addition, Mr. Alkebsi met with government, political party, media and civil society officials for an assessment of the recent parliamentary and presidential elections in the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG).

 Iraq – The Iraqi Society for Consumer Rights Defense (ISCRD) held a roundtable on July 18 in Basrah to focus on critical issues in the trade and banking sectors. The roundtable was part of the CIPE-supported Provincial Business Agenda (PBA) initiative, which builds consensus among private sector stakeholders regarding the key legislative issues affecting their sector and engages the provincial government to affect change on those issues.  Fifty-four people attended, including representatives of the Iraqi Businessmen Union (IBMU), the Iraqi Central Bank Basrah branch, the Basrah Governorate Council, commercial companies, banks, financial service companies, exporters, and academia. Participants recommended removing limits on the amounts transferred through banks, providing access to credit, lowering interest rates, and improving cooperation between the Ministry of Finance and other ministries to expand access to ATM machines.  Further concern was raised over the lack of quality standards on exports, poor customs monitoring, and excessive bureaucracy. Media coverage of the event included Al Fayha’a satellite channel and several newspapers

 Iraq – The Iraqi Society for Consumer Rights Defense (ISCRD) held its final sector roundtable on July 19 in Basrah to focus on issues relating to the private transportation sector. Forty-three people attended, including the Iraqi Businessmen Union (IBMU), transportation company owners, exporters, businessmen and academia. During the workshop, participants discussed the obstacles created due to corruption and favoritism in enforcing customs on exports, expensive costs for transporting exports, poor or no services inside ports, weak infrastructure, and lack of experience of customs employee.  Media coverage of the event included Al Fayha’a satellite channel and several newspapers.

 Jordan- On August 5th, the Young Entrepreneurs Association's (YEA) public advocacy program Sawtouna held a roundtable to discuss the feasibility and challenges of electronic business registration. Representatives from the public and private sectors attended the event, including those from Jordan’s IT Business Association (Int@j) and the Greater Amman Municipality (GAM). Participants were informed of GAM’s progress in facilitating the implementation of electronic registration and licensing for businesses, in an effort to make the process easier on business owners and entrepreneurs.

 Yemen – The Yemeni Central Organization for Control and Auditing (COCA) featured CIPE and partner Yemeni Businessmen Club (YBC)’s corporate governance initiative at a high-level conference on August 9.  The CIPE-YBC project is part of a larger two-year initiative to strengthen corporate governance in Yemen, Bahrain and Tunisia. The conference discussed ways to incorporate corporate governance principles into the work of COCA’s economic units. The participants discussed the importance of developing of financial and accounting systems in accordance with international requirements of transparency.



 Calendar of Events for the Week of August 16 – August 22



Name of Event



August 16-20

Business Association Training

Arbil, Iraq


August 17

Divisional Seminar

Chittagong, Bangladesh


August 18

Certification Course for Directors - 1st Session

Mexico City, Mexico


August 19

Certification Course for Directors – 2nd Session

Mexico City, Mexico