After the fall of the Soviet Union, a lack of transparency and accountability in the Armenian fiscal system, together with unclear and duplicative terms of taxation, allowed officials to manipulate the system while placing businesses in constant violation of ambiguous laws. Abuse of tax laws in Armenia seriously impaired the business and investment environment and stalled the democratic process.
Following the Asian financial crisis in 1997, the international community witnessed an emerging focus on corporate governance as a way to guard against further crises. In the Philippines, the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD) has since become the leading training institution in corporate governance and directorship. ICD developed an innovative scorecard system that establishes uniform standards for companies and motivates continuous improvement.
Public participation is essential to achieving sustainable economic reform in a democratic process. Because the business sector plays a crucial role in growing the economy, representatives of business groups must be included in economic policy deliberations. In Jordan, however, few non-government bodies would bring business concerns to policy debate, or promote an independent and transparent review of policy.
In 2005 the Belarusian business community came together to protect private enterprise and support change through constructive advocacy with the government. Since the mid-1990s, entrepreneurs in Belarus had experienced restrictive legislation and high corruption, and had seen an era of stifled growth due to flawed economic policies and a hostile political environment.
The Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) assembled Romanian business coalitions to promote transparency and public input in government, eliminate bureaucratic restrictions on entrepreneurship, and nurture markets in the tourism, technology, and light manufacturing sectors. Through the Open Doors Advocacy Campaign (2002–2003), CIPE coordinated three grassroots coalitions representing these sectors, which compiled and promoted their policy recommendations in a unified business agenda.
The Riinvest Institute for Development Research (Riinvest) was one of the first local private organizations to respond to Kosovo’s governance needs following the conflict of the 1990s. Riinvest brought civil society and the business community into a governance process that had mostly neglected local input.
Since 2004, the Foundation for Higher Education and Development (Fedesarrollo) has provided legislative advisory services to Congress by offering inclusive, impartial, and comprehensive assessments of policy discussions in Colombia. Although the constitutional reform of 1991 attempted to curb executive power by creating the Constitutional Court and placing more authority in the hands of Congress, legislators lacked the analytical capacity to assume a leading role in shaping policy.
Building strong and sound democratic institutions involves implementing corporate governance standards that establish a culture of accountability, transparency, and fairness. In 2005, the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) joined l’Institut Arabe des Chefs d’Entreprises (IACE) in a partnership that promoted good corporate governance practices and furthered awareness of corporate governance in Tunisia.
Across Kyrgyzstan, the Bishkek Business Club (BBC) and the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) enhanced private sector participation in policymaking by uniting the business community behind an advocacy coalition. In 2007, BBC and CIPE launched the National Alliance of Business Associations (NABA), an organization of 30 business groups representing more than 2,000 companies and 80,000 entrepreneurs in Kyrgyzstan.
For two decades, the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) has played an instrumental role in developing healthy policy discourse, strengthening legislative decision-making, and stabilizing the democratic process in Ghana. As a center for policy analysis and dialogue, the Institute has made profound contributions to the reform process and redirected laws that stood in the way of economic and social freedoms.
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