The project was launched on March 15, 2015 in Sharm El-Sheikh, at an event attended by His Excellency Dr. Ashraf El Arabi, Minister of Planning and Administrative Development, Ashraf Salman, Minister of Investment, Khaled Abdel- Aziz, Minister of Youth and Sports, Hossam Farid, Chairman of the Egyptian Junior Business Association, Joe Kaeser, President and CEO, Siemens AG, Lisa Davis, Member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG, Dietmar Siersdorfer, CEO, Siemens Middle East and UAE.
The concept of ‘Collective Action’ – namely to build alliances of stakeholders against corruption - is taken to scale in Egypt. The project focuses on establishing a business-led Integrity Network in the country, which will serve as a platform for all stakeholders, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), large corporations, civil society, academia and government to discuss the risks of corruption, exchange best practice, jointly work against corruption and to promote clean business and fair market conditions in Egypt. “As Egypt seeks to attract increased international investment in support of its rapidly growing economy, it is essential that the right environment is in place to encourage transparent practices in the interests of clean business and healthy competition,” said Maximilian Egger, CEO of Siemens in Egypt. “Siemens has been a trusted development partner to Egypt for more than 150 years, and we are proud to be collaborating locally in the interests of ethical and sustainable economic growth.”
The initiative will also encourage SMEs to commit to advancing their anti-corruption practices, provide training and motivate multinational enterprises (MNEs) to offer tangible business advantages and incentives to SMEs in Egypt which demonstrate ethical leadership.
“Implementation of integrity and anti-corruption compliance programs are key to creating a level playing field where fair competition and ethical business is respected,” said Hossam Farid, Chairman, Egypt Junior Business Association. “This project will function on the strong belief that when companies establish internal practices individually and engage in a collaborative and sustained process of cooperation collectively, real ‘on-ground’ impact can be achieved in the business landscape of Egypt.”
"The Collective Action project conducted by the United Nations Global Compact in collaboration with the Egyptian Junior Business Association, with support from Siemens Integrity Initiative during the first funding round, has already made good progress and laid the foundation for a cleaner business environment that rewards good performance rather than wasteful rent-seeking,” said Georg Kell, the Executive Director of the United Nations Global Compact Office. “Moving ahead, the projected funded during the second round of the Siemens Integrity Initiative will usher in a new phase that can now unlock the full potential of a corruption-free environment and thereby create income and jobs. The United Nations Global Compact is proud to be a part of this important project and we applaud our partners in Egypt for pioneering solutions that can inspire our participants all over the world."
The cooperation with the United Nations Global Compact in Egypt is part of the global Siemens Integrity Initiative which supports organizations and projects fighting corruption and fraud through Collective Action, education and training with over US$ 100 million around the world. The Initiative focuses on supporting projects that have a clear impact on the business environment, can demonstrate objective and measurable results and have the potential to be scaled up and replicated. The Siemens Integrity Initiative is based on the settlements between Siemens and the World Bank in 2009 and the settlement between Siemens and the European Investment Bank (EIB) in 2013.