Corruption in Business: The First Phase of Fight launched
11.12.2015 | 10:12
In order to curb corruption in business first and foremost we need to talk about it. Mr. Karen Zadoyan, AYLA President, “Multi-Faceted Anti-Corruption Promotion” Project Manager, Coordinator of the Secretariat of CSOs’ Anti-Corruption Coalition said this at the working meeting “Corruption Risks in the Business Sector and Integrity Issues in Armenia,” which started today on 10 December in Aghveran.
“If we shall not talk about the problems, they will not be solved. In this regard, we welcome the business organizations that have begun to raise issues and present them to the appropriate authorities, since only such actions enable to propose solutions,” Mr. Zadoyan said.
This process of self-purification of business or prevention of its internal corruption risks is one of the key priorities for our country. Mr. Suren Krmoyan, the RA Deputy Justice Minister assures the participants of the working meeting. According to him the state suffers first as result of the corruption risks in the sector. “The government is willing and makes efforts to curb and decrease the corruption risks in business sector and turn business competitive. This issue is not very often spoken about. This is the second meeting. Previously we mainly spoke about the corruption risks in the sphere of public service. We often forgot the large enterprises and companies. We forget about the harm that corruption inflicts on SMEs,” Mr. Krmoyan noted.
In his speech Mr. Andrey Sorokin Ambassador, the Head of the OSCE Office in Yerevan said that the issue is in the focus of the OSCE and of the RA Government as well. He said that the office supports the state authorities and civil society to combat corruption, as well as attaches importance to anti-corruption education.
Corruption affects the economy. Mr. Jose-Maria Medina-Navarro, Deputy Head of the Cooperation Section at the EU Delegation to Armenia said that corruption is horrible and undermines the rule of law.
In addition to talking loudly about corruption, the business companies should support the civil society and the interested organizations to reveal the problems. Just based on this principle Arthurs Aghveran Resort Company co-financed the event, “Fight against corruption should be the major strategy of the country if not the most important one,” Ms Siranuysh Kaytsakyan, the founder of the company said.
‘The situation is rather complicated in Armenia,” Mr. Varuzhan Hoktanyan, Executive Director of “Transparency International” Anti-Corruption center said. Based on the data of TI he said that corruption is a really serious problem in our country. “Decrease of manifestation of corruption transactions in business and state relations is very important. When we look deeper investigating the so called anatomy of corruption, we see that it issues from the basic model of the economy we have chosen. Naturally, if we have a truly free market and free competition we shall record a reduction of corruption,” Mr. Hoktanyan said and added that all countries where corruption was decreased, had achieved it through promotion of free market relations.
Further, Mr. Marat Atovmyan, Director of Yerevan Anti-Corruption Center operated by the Armenian Young Lawyers Association, Local Expert of “Multi-Faceted Anti-Corruption Promotion” project spoke about the “Corruption Risks and Integrity Issues in the Business Organizations of Armenia and Integrity Issues in Armenia and the Mechanisms for their control.” There were other speeches as well.
During the discussion the business companies spoke about the corruption risks that exist in the taxation sphere as well as in their relations with other state bodies.
The working meeting will continue work on 11 December. The results will be presented to relevant competent authorities through the Ministry of Justice.
The working meeting is organized by the Armenian Young Lawyers Association NGO in cooperation with CSOs’ Anti-Corruption Coalition with partners The RA Ministry of Justice, “Transparency International” Anti-Corruption Center and “Freedom of Information Center.”
The event is funded by European Union and the OSCE Office in Yerevan and co-funded by Arthurs Aghveran Resort Company.