Why strengthening integrity in business in the Middle East and North Africa
The importance of fighting corruption in international business transactions
Combating bribery in international business transactions is crucial to creating a level playingfield for business. Recognising this, governments and international organisations have adopted aseries of legally binding and non-binding anti-corruption and integrity instruments at regionaland global levels. Many private businesses have responded by introducing voluntary measuressuch as codes of conduct and compliance programmes.
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) context
Investors and traders worldwide are expected to comply with anti-corruption and anti-briberyrules and regulations. Compliance with these integrity instruments is sometimes difficult, in particular if operating in business environments where corruption is a common practice. To prevent risks and avoid malpractices, international actors have developed voluntary instrumentsthat should enable them to carry out commercial and investment transactions and projects,including in high risk countries.Corruption is considered a challenge to the development of trade and investment of the MENA
region‟s economies. To increase the involvement of the private sector in MENA economies and
ensure fair competition in an increasingly global economy, it is essential to raise awareness and promote implementation of common anti-corruption provisions as well as preventive anti-briberymeasures.
Objective of the SIBAC Programme
The MENA-OECD Investment Programme provides assistance to the MENA economies in their
efforts to create favourable business climates through its regional activity “StrengtheningIntegrity in Business in Arab Countries” (SIBAC).
The objective of the SIBAC Programme is toraise awareness of international anti-corruption and integrity standards and principles
ethics andcompliance, and share good practice in furtherance of business integrity in the MENA region. Italso aims to encourage governments and companies to develop and implement integrity measuresand tools, with a view to levelling the playing field for businesses operating in the region.
Key activities and achievements
The SIBAC has been able to develop a network of partners to enhance awareness on the need tofight corruption in the MENA region with a view to improving the business climate. Building on