Anti-corruption in large companies and SMEs

Sustainable Development Goal(s): 1. End poverty8. Decent work and economic growth11. Sustainable cities and communities16. Peace, justice & strong institutions17. Partnerships for the goals

Priorities for change:
Anti-corruption in large companies and SMEs

Corruption and conflicts of interest are dangerous pitfalls for any entrepreneur that wants to operate sustainably. Fortunately, there are some handy tools for the fight against corruption. For example, the National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines has developed an anti-corruption guide for Belgian companies that do business abroad. In cooperation with the VBO and ICC they have also published a brochure aimed specifically at SMEs.

In 2017 the National Contact Point (NCP) for the OECD Guidelines organised a seminar on combatting corruption. It took place in the context of the UN’s International Anti-Corruption Day. One clear message came out of it: we cannot win the battle against corruption without new legislation. And certainly not without the joint efforts of all parties in society.

Two handy publications in the fight against corruption

During the seminar the Anti-Corruption Guide for Belgian Enterprises Overseas was presented. The NCP, which works within the Federal Public Service Economy, hopes this will provide useful guidelines for Belgian companies, so that they can take internal measures to limit their exposure to corruption abroad.

Early in 2018 the NCP, in cooperation with the Federation of Enterprises in Belgium and the Belgian Committee of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), also put together an anti-corruption guide for SMEs. This guide is intended to help SMEs arm themselves against the risks associated with both small and large-scale corruption practices.

Both publications are intended to help socially responsible enterprises contribute to a society with a favourable business climate.

Corruption is the weak link in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. Why? First of all, regions categorised as posing a high corruption risk do not attract many investments. Secondly, corruption skews market operations.

Conclusion: corruption increases inequality and exacerbates poverty. As SDG 16 states, sustainable partnerships are impossible without a legal framework and efficient institutions.

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