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Leaders' Statement

Oliver Everett

CEO

Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council

UK, Europe

Bio

Mr Oliver Everett is CEO of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council, a membership organisation which works to promote trade and investment by facilitating engagement between Government and the private sector throughout the Commonwealth. CWEIC is a values based organisation reflecting the commitments of the Commonwealth Charter. Central to CWEIC’s work is the understanding that businesses require a set of values under which trade and investment can take place; transparency; good governance; respect for the rule of law; enforceable physical and intellectual property rights; equal opportunities and a diverse workforce and an overarching understanding that financial probity from government and the private sector is key to a flourishing business environment. CWEIC is the apex organisation representing private sector businesses within the Commonwealth and is the only institution with a remit to promote intra-Commonwealth trade and investment.

Statement

Tackling Corruption Across the Commonwealth

With a combined GDP of more than US$10 trillion and a population of 2.3 billion, the Commonwealth is recognised by Governments across the world as being integral to global trade and investment. However, businesses and therefore inter-Commonwealth trade suffer not only from the reality of corruption but also the perception that some member countries are too ‘high risk’. This perception, and fear of unintended criminality, prevents UK businesses from taking full advantage of the opportunities in emerging markets and hinders the development of emerging markets.

CWEIC is committed to improving the business environment in Commonwealth countries to encourage investment and development. CWEIC firmly believes that an effective plan to combat corruption at a business level should be designed and informed by business. As an organisation working with Government, civil society and corporates across the Commonwealth and based in London, CWEIC is well placed to convene anti-corruption experts, businesses and Government representatives to provide the practical expertise which will enable and galvanise the anti-corruption agenda.

CWEIC encourages civil society and Governments to support the business community in their anti-corruption endeavours and provide a level-playing field for inward investment. The private sector is integral to increasing economic growth in developing countries and should be seen as part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

At the Tackling Corruption Together Conference in May 2016, the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council will be launching a Commonwealth Anti-Corruption Network aiming to provide a framework of practical advice, guidance and services to businesses throughout the Commonwealth on how to meet their anti-corruption obligations.

Investor perceptions and experiences need to be changed. Businesses across the Commonwealth should be encouraged to build on the momentum of the Tackling Corruption Together Conference in May and make a positive impact on the Anti-Corruption Agenda.

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We are grateful to all the authors and contributing organisations within this Manifesto and to the partner organisations that helped to convene this landmark collection of anti-corruption statements from across a wide range of business and civil society leaders. The partners for the Leaders' Anti-Corruption Manifesto are The B Team, Thomson Reuters, the Global Organisation of Parliamentarians Against Corruption, the ONE campaign and the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council

This project is supported by a grant from the Omidyar Network.

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