The Committee on Government Procurement adopted, 30 March 2012, the revised Government Procurement Agreement after a final review required by the Ministerial Conference decision in December last year. The revised Agreement will now go to the respective parliaments for ratification.
This marks the end of a long negotiation that started in 1997. The Agreement is a plurilateral treaty that commits members to certain core disciplines regarding transparency, competition and good governance in one of the most important and growing areas of the economic activity of any country. It covers the procurement of goods, services and capital infrastructure by public authorities. To access the official news article, click here.
Human trafficking is a very large and profitable crime, affecting all sectors of society. Today, there are about 27 million people worldwide who are victims, including men, women and children.
The forms of human trafficking readily seen are bonded labor, debt bondage, fraud, coercion and other forms of modern slavery. To better assist companies in grasping this problem and taking the proper steps to address it, the USCIB, along with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the International Organization of Employers, organized a forum in February at the Atlanta headquarters of The Coca-Cola Company, on “Engaging Business: Addressing Human Trafficking in Labor Sourcing.”
USCIB members ManpowerGroup and the NGO Verite launched a new guide to help companies prevent trafficking in their labor sourcing. “An Ethical Framework for Cross-Border Labor Recruitment,” provides a detailed framework for combating human trafficking and forced labor.
“Today’s environment requires businesses to be global and talent to be mobile, therefore ManpowerGroup has made it a priority to be at the forefront of ensuring that global recruitment markets operate transparently and ethically.”
Source: “Human Trafficking in the Supply Chain.” Journal of the United States Council for Internatinal Business. XXXIV.1 (2012): 3. Print.
Corporate governance, responsibility, intellectual property rights, and corruption all fall under the ethical obligations experienced by multinational enteprises today. Whether following the most ethical route in business dealings matters in the long run is, in many ways, a difficult question. Historically, the answer has depended on the environment and outcomes. Nineteenth century textile mills in the United States, for instance, flagrantly violated today’s standards for workers’ rights (including living wages, maximum weekly working hours, and safe working conditions). However, they did much to move U.S. industrialization forward.
Today, one issue concerning corporate ethics is the divide between “first world” and less developed countries. Should emerging economies follow the same course experienced by the United States and Europe in their industrial history? Or should they be aided and, on occasion, forced by developed nations to skip the mishaps of the Western experience, and industrialize under more stringent modern-day standards?
Taken from the 9th Edition of International Marketing by Michael R. Czinkota and Ilkka A. Ronkainen.
Corruption is a major detractor from global welfare and local economic development. Its consequences are shoddily built roads, structures that collapse, clinics with equipment purchased at high prices or inappropriate specifications. In all such circumstances vast public expenditures do not achieve the envisioned use and local interest suffers.
Typical side payments are 10-15 percent of all major expenditures, with much higher levels in the developing world. “It is human nature to lubricate relationships with gratuity” was a typical statement, with more diversion attributed to high-context cultures [e.g., Latin American, Latin Europe, and Asia] and less to low-context ones [e.g., United States, Northern and Germanic Europe]. Yet, the social acceptance of corruption was seen as a bigger danger because it protects the elite from domestic scrutiny and control. Therefore, the ongoing impact of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the OECD discussions were seen as instrumental in reducing or at least containing such misappropriations. More multilateral action is seen as necessary to ensure broad, continuous and relentless enforcement of measures against violators. Beneficiaries of ill gotten gains from bribery should eventually be pursued globally to disgorge their ill gotten gains.
This is an excerpt from Dr. Czinkota’s book Global Business: Positioning Ventures Ahead, co-authored by Dr. Ilkka Ronkainen.
Michael R Czinkota and Ilkka A Ronkainen, Global Business: Positioning Ventures Ahead (New York: Routledge, 2011), pg. 105.