Economist urges businesspeople to join UN Global Compact to facilitate fight against corruption

Wai Tun Naung

Dr Aung Tun Thet, one of Myanmar's well-known economists, has urged local entrepreneurs to join UN Global Compact to help fight against corruption during an Anti-Corruption Declaration ceremony held at the headquarters of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) held in Yangon on July 2.  

"Apart from our Anti-Corruption Commission and UMFCCI, individual businesspersons and companies are also urged to become signatories. Here are many companies that have yet to join UN Global Compact. I want them to join it," said Dr Aung Tun Thet, adviser to UMFCCI.

Established in 2000, UN Global Compact has been encouraging businesses to become responsible and accountable under the Code of Conduct on Business Integrity. Members have to comply with four pledges—human rights, labour standards, environmental conservation and anti-corruption. Members have to make annual reports on those issues.

"Asked why they need to join the organisation, I would say that in the past, a business focused on profit only. But nowadays, all businesses must follow responsible business conducts," said the economist.

Myanmar was ranked 130th out of 180 countries in Corruption Perception Index-2017 published by Transparency International. Singapore, an Asean member country, was ranked fourth.

"Why we are ranked 130th while Singapore was ranked fourth. We need to envy that country. While the government is making such efforts, organisations themselves need to be responsible," he commented.