Business Integrity


Why focus on Business Integrity?

In developing countries, corruption, bribery, and tax evasion accounts for up to USD $1.26 trillion annually. That amount of money could be used to elevate those out of the poverty line for up to 6 years. The impact of corruption can add up to 10% of the cost of doing businesses 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. Corruption distorts market mechanisms, prevents fair competition, exposes businesses to legal and reputational risks, and erodes public investor trust and confidence. Corruption in ASEAN has become systemic, with many even saying that it has become ingrained in the cultural norms and expectations of doing business in ASEAN.

Though governments take the lead in the anti-corruption crusade, long-term success will require complementing efforts from other stakeholders, particularly businesses. At ACN, we believe that encouraging businesses all over the region to take a stand against corruption and put integrity at the forefront of their corporate values, the ASEAN business community can collectively dispel the myth that corruption is part of the regional business culture, fostering an environment that encourages fair competition, positive development, and inclusive growth.

Our Work on Business Integrity

With the support of the United Kingdom’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office and in partnership with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNOD), UN Development Programme, UN Global Compact and national-level partners, we provide a regular platform for regional knowledge-sharing, peer learning and partnership building.

    Our key acheivements:

    • The Regional Working Group on Business Integrity in ASEAN, established in September 2014, where ACN serves as convener and secretariat. The Regional Working Group currently comprises 7 members from 6 ASEAN countries who have agreed on and signed the MOU on regional collaboration on anti-corruption. Members of the Working Group are: ASEAN CSR Network, Integrity Initiative (Philippines), Indonesia Business Links, International Chamber of Commerce – Malaysia, Global Compact Network Singapore, Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Thailand’s Private Sector Collective Action Coalition Against Corruption
    • “Integrity has no borders” advocacy campaign launched in February 2015 which aims to create an enabling environment for companies to say “No” to corruption and bribery, regardless of where they are in ASEAN, to pave the way for shared growth and progress.  This campaign is guided by the principle that “businesses must work against corruption in all forms, including extortion and bribery” (UNGC’s 10th Principle). Its microsite serves as a one-stop shop for anti-corruption news and efforts in the ASEAN region.
    • A Guiding Framework for the Regional Working Group and partners in planning and implementing regional collective actions on anti-corruption was adopted in March 2015. It supports a common understanding and shared principles on anti-corruption between different stakeholders in ASEAN. It proposes various channels to drive collective actions, from the Integrity Pledge, to the Code of Conduct and others. It also identifies priority actions to combat corruption, from advocacy and awareness raising, to capacity building and harmonising strategies and programmes.
    • “Integrity has no borders” Pledge or Regional Integrity Pledge was launched in March 2017. This is a voluntary document that permits signatories to make a commitment to uphold ethical values at the enterprise/organisational, national and regional level. The Pledge also serves as a complement to the preexisting National Integrity Pledges. Companies and Corporations, Private Organisations, Civil Society / Public Organisations and International Agencies may sign the Regional Integrity Pledge.
    • Various national and regional forums and workshops to introduce and promote collective action initiatives on anti-corruption in ASEAN.

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