Program areas at Center for International Private Enterprise
Democratic governance:democratic governance, in which citizens have a say in how decisions are made, is fundamental to ensuring that democracy delivers for all of society. Strong democratic governance is characterized by transparency and accountability in both the public and Private sectors. Cipe's democratic governance programs employ a business lens to promote open and informed public decision-making and principled corporate governance. for example, slovakia, guatemala, cambodia, lebanon, and nigeria are among the many countries where cipe is working with local partners on specific activities to facilitate and strengthen public-private dialogue between business and government officials at all levels to enhance the role of business in the public policy process and promote transparency and accountability to all citizens. Among the efforts: collection of hard data, networking, records digitalization, training and public awareness campaigns on key topics, the creation of proposed business solutions to key challenges, and business agendas that clearly relay the priorities and needs of entrepreneurs to lawmakers. Numerous programs and resources developed by cipe and partner organizations are helping to advance digital freedoms and increase commerce online, including in ethiopia, kenya, philippines, and argentina. Cipe is also helping to shape global discussions around the linkages between covid economic recovery, the leadership role of the Private sector, and democratic principles. Major 2021 activities included producing a december summit for democracy side event with the biden administration featuring panels of executives and thought leaders from around the world. Among the topics: digital economy advancements, new anti-corruption approaches, and accountable investment practices. Meanwhile, members of the cipe-supported free Enterprise and democracy network (fedn), comprised of former program partners and other experts, serve as advisors for transitions and provide technical assistance to reform initiatives around the world. Fedn 2021 efforts included two well-attended virtual conferences to spotlight voices from emerging markets on their democracy priorities and showcase programs and approaches by cipe and other organizations that are yielding progress.
Business advocacy, Enterprise ecosystems, & economic inclusion: institutions and policies that include planning for economic growth and inclusiveness are more likely to be implemented within a democratic environment. With this in mind, cipe works to empower the Private sector to actively participate in the democratic process through partnerships with local business associations, chambers of commerce, and think tanks. Many programs place a large emphasis on the inclusion of women, youth, and other marginalized groups. Cipe is increasing its efforts around the globe, including in central asia, africa, and the middle east, to help invigorate and diversify economies, while making them more resilient and reducing corruption. for example, in bahrain where the economy is still heavily dependent on oil and gas, a new cipe project with a local angel investor network aims to expand opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses and startups by offering business support services and investor education, as well as policy reform efforts to increase citizen access to capital and dialogues to help expand trade. Cipe partners in egypt have been instrumental in efforts to improve banking services and the country's move toward a cashless economy, as well as proposals to incorporate more micro and small businesses into the formal economy. Cipe has implemented and run many business association management capacity-building programs, including in kyrgyzstan, tajikistan, and uzbekistan. In ethiopia, the location of a cipe civic engagement hub office, the many staff and partner activities have included publication of a guidebook on strengthening business to business (b2b) linkages for chambers and associations. Cipe's work with partners in the sahel region aims to bring the voice of local business to the forefront of economic policymaking to help combat insecurity and build regional economic resilience. Efforts included co-organizing a 2021 International conference on these issues in mauritania. Economic inclusion, equity, and equality: as efforts to ensure gender equity and equality are growing areas of focus for governments and communities worldwide, many are looking to cipe for leadership. Cipe's Center for women's economic empowerment (cwee) works to empower women in three ways: forming coalitions, building leadership and entrepreneurship skills, and networking. This includes new training and programs developed with International partners for cipe-supported women's business resource centers in papua new guinea, guatemala, and afghanistan. Among cipe's many innovative programs to stimulate youth civic engagement, entrepreneurship, and promote wider economic inclusiveness: a central america regional youth entrepreneurship (care) program and a youth leadership program across africa that incorporates creative outreach methods to help connect with younger generations and support their financial inclusion, including those in refugee camps, and a project to support the lgbtq+ business community in the philippines.
Worldwide anti-corruption initiatives: there is growing support among world leaders and the global business community for "rapid response" programs to combat corruption in countries with quickly changing environments. Although windows of opportunity for reform are usually brief, anti-corruption advocates with ready resources can make tremendous gains. Cipe is well-positioned for this work and has led rapid response programs with technical and financial assistance for anti-corruption initiatives in the gambia, armenia, sudan, moldova, malaysia, and ecuador. To augment these efforts, cipe's anti-corruption & governance Center recently debuted an anti-corruption rapid response website, which is becoming a hub for reformers and thought leaders throughout the world. Cipe also officially launched its ethics 1st initiative in kenya and nigeria to help businesses attract and de-risk investment and trade by embracing International governance and anti-corruption compliance standards.
Trade facilitation and accountable investment:building the institutions of a market economy involves reducing barriers to doing business and promoting an entrepreneurial culture that provides opportunities for all citizens. Improving transparency and accountability in the public and Private sectors increases support for democratic rights and freedoms. Through its inclusive approach to entrepreneurship and policy engagement, cipe helps ensure that democracy and the market economy are accessible to all segments of society. Trade facilitation programs: cipe is a leader within the global alliance for trade facilitation (gatf), along with the world economic forum and the International chamber of commerce. The alliance was launched in 2016 to help developing countries implement the world trade organization trade facilitation agreement and works to leverage Private sector expertise and leadership to accelerate ambitious and commercially meaningful trade policy reforms. The result is broad-based opportunity, economic growth, and development. for example, in brazil cipe and the alliance are working closely with inmetro, the country's main standards agency, to launch a new automated system that can issue import licenses almost immediately for everything from textiles and toys to appliances and auto parts. Licensing wait times and associated costs are dramatically reduced and the change is considered a major milestone in brazil's efforts to cut red tape for traders. Key projects in colombia, zambia, and many other countries are changing relationships between global businesses and border agencies responsible for customs, health, and agriculture.accountable investment in europe, asia, latin america: capital investments from authoritarian regimes are increasingly viewed as a risk to the sovereignty of needy recipient countries, mainly due to fears that the lenders will leverage the debt to exert undue political and economic influence. Cipe has multiple initiatives and a website to raise awareness about such "corrosive capital" situations, including expert advice on how countries can identify potentially bad deals and strengthen governance measures to protect their assets and thus their independence. In asia and the pacific, five cipe partners launched the bri monitor website with more than a dozen case studies and heat maps to help gauge the impact of china's massive infrastructure projects in the region, including mining operations in myanmar, telecom ventures in the philippines, and high-speed rail lines in malaysia. Cipe partners in europe have released a series of corrosive capital case studies, including reports on slovakia, latvia, croatia, bulgaria, and romania. Meanwhile, cipe and the americas society/council of the americas are holding public and Private roundtables with representatives from a variety of sectors, amchams, government leaders, and journalists.