ASEAN CSR Network – Ethics or Integrity in Businesses?

Working Group on Business Integrity in ASEAN and Partners pledged the “Regional Integrity Pledge” 

Singapore – 6 March 2017 -  Ethics in businesses is very much similar to ethics everywhere, it is a set of rules and laws in which one will need to adhere to almost without questioning. Integrity refers more to an individual’s intrinsic values and virtues which guides one’s life. When applied to companies, companies believe that integrity is important as it builds, foster and sustain relationships amongst different stakeholders and thereby, increasing trust and confidence which set businesses apart.

When businesses choose to instill integrity as part of their corporate culture, they will cultivate a culture which encourages fair competition, positive development and inclusive growth. Integrity issues such as corruption is a key obstacle to this. According to the World Economic Forum and World Bank, corruption adds up to 10% of the total cost of doing business in many parts of the world, and up to 25% of the cost of procurement contracts in developing countries where most ASEAN countries are classified.

It is with the above in mind that ASEAN CSR Network (ACN) is organising a 1.5 days conference “The Regional Business Integrity Conference: Culture of Business Integrity – Pathway to Sustainability and Success”. This will provide a platform that will attract the private, people and public sectors primarily from ASEAN to network and share best practices and possible solutions.

This is also part of business integrity series under Sustainability Consortium of Professionals and Educators (SCOPE). SCOPE was launched in July 2016 and is made up of academics and professionals to promote research, teaching and practice of sustainability and responsible business in the region.

Like most conferences, there will be a line-up of notable speakers. However, for our conference in particular, we will have Ambassadors from Canada, United Kingdom and Sweden who will provide Opening Remarks. In addition, we have speakers who come from varied backgrounds such as lawyers, compliance officers to managers at compliance groups, business chambers, international development agencies and watchdogs such as United Nations Office Drugs and Crime (UNODC), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Transparency International (TI), Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB), Singapore Exchange (SGX).International Chamber of Commerce – Malaysia, Centre for Governance, Institutions and Organisations (CGIO), NUS Business School, Singapore Management University (SMU) and Microsoft.

Our key note speakers are Mr Christopher Hodges (Professor of Justice Systems, Head of the Swiss Re/CMS Research Programme on Civil Justice Systems, Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford). He is a Board Member of the UK Research Integrity Office. His research is directed at reviewing all EU regulatory and dispute resolution systems to devise an integrated, balanced civil justice and regulatory model for European states. His books include Law and Corporate Behaviour: Integrating Theories of Regulation and Enforcement. He will speak and join in a panel discussion on “Enabling a culture of integrity in business: enforcing ethical business regulations” which will discuss on how to enable a culture of business integrity through ethical business regulations enforcement.

The other keynote speaker is Mr Rapee Sucharitakul (Secretary-General, Securities and Exchange Commission, Thailand). He devoted 13 years of his career to capital market development and supervision and some of his previous posts include member of the Board of Governors of the Stock Exchange of Thailand, Director of Thailand Futures Exchange, Director of the Federation of Thai Capital Market Organizations, Director of the Thai Institute of Directors Association. He will speak and join in a panel discussion on “Towards sustainability; incorporating ethics and integrity into business strategy” which will discuss on how to do businesses successfully manage ethical business practices along supply chain and what are good business models for sustainable development.

Both of the above discussion will help to change mindsets, that is, businesses will need to have both ethics and integrity. This is possible and can be sustained if implemented with the support and belief of relevant stakeholders which includes private, people and public sectors harmoniously in a partnership.

In addition to the high-level panel discussions, we will also have two breakout sessions. This will involve case studies on “Restoring business integrity: what works, what does not?” and workshop on “Mitigating risks in public procurement: tools and good practices.” Such sessions serve to illustrate that there are real practical concerns but there are also, possible solutions. Procurement is a relatively new topic but has gained traction in being recognized as one area that is easily subjected to corruption. Hence, the need to understand further the effects it caused and ways on improving its integrity and hence, creating a better and more fair level playing field in businesses.

One of the expected outcomes of this meeting is the launch and endorsement by members and partners to the Regional Integrity Pledge. By endorsing this pledge, they are committed to work with relevant stakeholders and support the realization of ASEAN 2025: Forging Ahead Together Blueprint in promoting good governance and instilling the culture of integrity and mainstreaming these principles into the policies and practices of the ASEAN Community.

This programme is made possible by the funding from the Government of Sweden through its Embassy in Bangkok, UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (UKFCO) through its Prosperity Fund and the Government of Canada through its embassy in Jakarta to ASEAN.

For the concept note, programme and list of speakers, please see attached links.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Ms Angeline Kwong
Assistant Director, Communications and Partnership
DID: (65) 6813 9633

About ASEAN CSR Network (ACN)

ASEAN CSR Network (ACN) was formed with the support of ASEAN Foundation and the Japan – ASEAN Solidarity Fund in line with the achievement of an ASEAN Community in 2015. ACN is proud to be ASEAN Accredited, a registered company limited by guarantee as well as an International Charitable Organisation. Since its establishment in 2011, much has been achieved in mainstreaming CSR practices through the network’s efforts in developing and implementing the “ASEAN CSR Vision 2020”. As a leading regional network of CSR networks, ACN provides a platform for networking and cooperation at the ASEAN level, supports capacity – building and training activities, helps catalyse collective action on key issues, and provides a link with regional and international bodies interested in supporting the advancement of CSR in the region. For more information, please visit