IIC Program Paves the Way for New Business Ethics Codes in the Caribbean

03/27/2012

FINPYME Integrity program promotes regional exchange in Latin America and the Caribbean

Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago — On March 27 and 28, 2012, the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) marked the successful completion of the pilot phase of an innovative program promoting business ethics and anti-corruption practices in the Caribbean private sector.

The two-day meeting showcased highlights and lessons learned from the FINPYME Integrity program, which was launched in Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, and Jamaica in September 2011. Since its inception, the program has helped some 50 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Caribbean to implement codes of business ethics and conduct.

As part of the pilot program, training materials were developed and local partner organizations conducted group workshops and in-house training exercises with companies looking to make headway on their anti-corruption agenda.

“With the FINPYME Integrity initiative, the IIC has renewed its commitment to promoting transparency in SMEs across Latin America and the Caribbean,” noted Jacques Rogozinski, the IIC’s general manager. “The program has raised awareness on the importance of ethical business and will continue to encourage cross-border integration. We are looking forward to future collaborations with our FINPYME Integrity partners in the region.”

The IDB’s representative in Trinidad and Tobago, Michelle Cross Fenty, added: “FINPYME Integrity provides a wonderful opportunity for SMEs in Trinidad and Tobago and the entire Caribbean region to improve their business systems and standards of governance. This is truly a win-win situation, as improvements in business culture can be expected to improve competitiveness and enhance financial performance.”

Among the companies participating in the initiative was Trinidad Aggregate Products Ltd., a local manufacturer of ceramic tiles and building materials. According to that company’s finance manager, Ravi Seereeram, “FINPYME Integrity has broadened our understanding of the depth, scope, and impact of business ethics. We now have the necessary tools to implement our own business ethics strategy, which we will continue to monitor and improve on, ensuring ethical standards at our company and maximum returns for all stakeholders.”

The IIC has been a driving force behind anti-corruption measures in the private sector since it signed a memorandum of understanding with the World Economic Forum’s Partnering Against Corruption Initiative in 2007. The experiences from the FINPYME Integrity pilot phase will be incorporated into a business ethics manual, which will become available online later this year as a train-the-trainer toolkit.

About the IIC

The IIC is a multilateral financial institution that is a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group. The IIC’s mission is to promote the economic development of its regional member countries by encouraging the establishment, expansion, and modernization of private enterprises, particularly those that are small and medium in size. It does so by providing financing (in the form of equity investments, loans, guarantees, and other instruments) and advisory services to private enterprises in Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2011, the IIC reached US$1.48 billion in assets and approved 71 operations channeling US$464.7 million to SMEs in the region. For more information on the IIC’s activities, visit www.iic.org.

Contact: Rebeca Sánchez de Tagle White

Telephone: (202) 623-3636

Email: rebecast@iadb.org