Global Competitiveness Empowerment Forum (GCEF) organized the Fair Player Club Seminar for Compliance and Business Ethics with Delegation of the EU to the Republic of Korea and ECCK, co-hosted by Delegation of the EU to the Republic of Korea, European Chamber of Commerce in Korea (ECCK), and Global Compact Network Korea (GCNK) on Tuesday, December 5, 2017 at Conference Room on the 3rd Floor, Seoul Square Building, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
Celebrating its third year, Fair Player Club collaborated with foreign embassies and chamber of commerce to introduce overseas anti-corruption laws and benchmarking business cases to foreign companies in Korea and Korean corporations with overseas branches. Until now, about 180 corporations and institutions have joined our collective action to create fair and transparent business environment through Fair Play Pledge.
The seminar began with opening speeches from Dr. Joelle Hivonnet, Minister Counsellor and Head of the Political, Press and Information Section at Delegation of the EU to the Republic of Korea, Mr. Sven-Erik Batenburg, Head of Legal and International Affairs at ECCK, and Mr. Park Suk-bum, Secretary-General of the GCNK. Through her opening speech, Dr. Joelle Hivonnet mentioned that “corruption not only drags economic growth, but also negatively impacts distribution of resources. Thus, investment towards social protection and public services decreases, which results in increase in social inequality and undermines democracy.” Moreover, she also emphasized that economic cost due to corruption amounts to €120 billion, which, globally, accounts for 5% of global GDP. She urged for a sustainable economic structure through eliminating corruption.
Mr. Sven-Erik Batenburg, Head of Legal and International Affairs at ECCK, highlighted the importance of compliance and business ethics as he explained that “good economy starts from good business, and good business comes from good governance.” Mr. Park Suk-bum, Secretary-General of GCNK, explained that “in the case of Europe, most of EU member states have joined United Nations Convention against Corruption and OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, and are operating institutions that specialize in anti-corruption.” He also added that “as trade scale between Korea and EU increases, and as Korean companies consistently enter into European market, companies must continuously put in efforts to eliminate business risks by recognizing European policies and systems on anti-corruption, and building their own compliance systems.
Following the opening speeches, Dr. Joelle Hivonnet, Minister Counsellor and Head of the Political, Press and Information Section at Delegation of the EU to the Republic of Korea, and Mr. Yang Jong-sam, Director of Anti-Solicitation Institution Division at Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission (ACRC) gave presentations. Dr. Hivonnet introduced anti-corruption regulatory policies of EU, and explained that EU’s anti-corruption actions are focused on ‘monitoring and analyzing EU member states’ anti-corruption activities, mainstreaming anti-corruption provisions in EU legislations and policies, and supporting anti-corruption policies in EU member states and other countries worldwide’. She mentioned that the European Commission has increasingly prioritized integrity and anti-corruption within EU member states since adopting EU Anti-Corruption Report in 2014 and looks closely into high-risk areas such as public procurement, public administration, business environment, and health care.
Mr. Yang Jong-sam, Director of Anti-Solicitation Institution Division at ACRC, introduced South Korean Government’s anti-corruption regulatory policies, focusing on Improper Solicitation and Graft Act. He explained that with the implementation of Improper Solicitation and Graft Act, ethical sensitivity has been strengthened as evident from the heightened standards of public officials’ integrity and changes in public’s expectations. He mentioned that public officials’ show of strong will to abide by the law is a very encouraging sign, accompanied by significant decrease of bribery in the business and education sectors. Lastly, Mr. Yang Jong-sam presented possible areas of improvement, including prohibition of improper solicitation in the private sector, and introduced ACRC’s plans on new regulations.
Afterwards, Continental Automotive Korea Ltd, Boehringer-Ingelheim Korea Ltd., and Siemens Ltd. Seoul each presented case studies of business practices. The first presenter, Ms. Kim Hyo-sin, Asia Pacific Compliance Officer of Continental Automotive Korea Ltd., shared her experience of compliance works, commenting that “compliant attitude in business cannot be emphasized enough and tone from the top is essential.” She also introduced various compliance programs at her company, such as compliance games and quizzes. Lastly, she encouraged the use of hotline among employees, and emphasized the importance of enhancing trust by disclosing information on actual hotline usage.
Our second presenter, Ms. Park Ji-young, Compliance Officer at Boehringer-Ingelheim Korea Ltd. mentioned the ’Guidelines on the Preparation of Expenditure Report on the Provision of Economic Benefits’ which will come into effect by January 1st, 2018. She explained that Korea is following the global trend and making regulatory changes to strengthen the responsibility of pharmaceutical industry to disclose information and improve transparency. In this regard, she emphasized that “we must first accurately understand the regulatory environment, collaborate with stakeholders, and to have a mindset that compliance is everyone’s responsibility.”
Lastly, the seminar continued with presentation from Mr. Park Jong-kun, Regional Compliance Officer at Siemens Ltd. Seoul. Mr. Park Jong-kun explained that Siemens has reconstructed company-wide compliance program based on the board’s strong will after the corruption scandal, and there has been great emphasis in strengthening of integrity culture and risk management. Moreover, he illustrated Siemens’ collective action efforts; ‘Siemens Integrity Initiative’ with the World Bank. He emphasized that compliance must be the number one priority and should not be subject to compromises.
After case studies, Ms. Angela Joo-Hyun Kang, Founder and Executive President of Global Competitiveness Empowerment Forum (GCEF), introduced Fair Player Club along with Fair Play Pledge, asking participants’ continuous interest and participation. Lastly, Ms. Lee Eun-kyung, Chief/Senior Researcher at GCNK, shared various global anti-corruption guidelines and compliance packages for participating businesses.
Fair Player Club is jointly hosting Fair Player Club Seminar on ‘China’s Corporate Social Responsibility and Anti-Corruption Policy Trend’ on December 20 with China Chamber of Commerce in Korea, Korea Chamber of Commerce in China and Business Institute for Sustainable Development of Korea. We look forward to your participation and interest.