Pearl Initiative Panel Debate:
Can We Eradicate Corporate Corruption in the Middle East?
It is well recognised that corruption distorts markets, creates an uneven playing field, and stifles economic growth and we have all observed the devastating mess it leaves in its wake. If companies allow for loopholes and ambiguity in their policies, the opportunity for corruption exists. And while we cannot eradicate greed, business leaders are increasingly being called upon to insist on and rigorously embed zero-tolerance and remove any opportunity for all employees, acting either in groups or as individuals, to commit corrupt acts.
Pervasive entrenched corruption is one of the top 10 systemic global risks we face, according to the World Economic Forum Global Risks Report for 2014. It is highly inter-connected to other global risks threatening our social and economic future, such as infrastructure neglect, income disparity and cyber-crime.
Is corruption a phenomenon that can be excused as simply part of doing deals in certain sectors, or an annoying but acceptable aspect of getting things done in developing countries? There may be wolves on Wall Street, but what are we up against in the Middle East region? In 2014, where does the Region see itself in terms of how far-reaching the issue spreads? Are adequate policies in place to combat corporate corruption across the GCC?
This panel session will provide an open dialogue amongst prominent regional business leaders who will actively encourage debate, share insights, perspectives, good practice experiences and lessons learned on the business imperative for fighting corporate corruption, protecting integrity and ensuring a well-regulated, fair and competitive economy that will foster long-term sustainability and job creation across the Region.