4 Nordic Chambers of Commerce in Thailand co-hosted the seminar on anti-corruption titled “The next Big Thing in the Fight Against Corruption: CAC Certification and the Thai Anti-Corruption Initiative”, on Wednesday, 27th March 2019 at Spaces, Empire Tower Sathorn, Bangkok.
The anti-corruption seminar was organized by the 4 Nordic chambers of commerce (TSCC, DTCC, TNCC, TFCC) together with the Thai Institute of Directors (IOD), a leading organization committing to improve director professionalism and corporate governance in Thailand, and the Collective Action Coalition (CAC), one of the most significant projects operated mainly by IOD.
The purpose of the event was not about being compliant with the corruption but it was about sending a signal to fight against the corruption at the company and industry levels.
Eric Hallin, the president of TSCC, delivered an opening remark to welcome all the participants who interested in this seminar and thanks to the Nordic sponsors: Spaces (the venue sponsor), Securitas (the event sponsor) and also TSCC’s partners: ARITCO, Husqvarna, SAAB and Penn Investment “without them this seminar would not be possible to succeed.” he said.
He also commented on how Nordic companies feel about corruption “corruption was not what we wanted to be involved with but it was what we wanted to eliminate it as much as we can.”
The main point of the seminar was started by Kulvech Janvatanavit, CEO of Thai IOD and CAC Secretary who gave the attendees an introduction to what is CAC and why foreign companies need to tackle corruption in Thailand.
Kulvech said that most people considered the corruption as something beyond their control and difficult to combat and that were the reasons CAC was established to create awareness among companies so that they can learn the appropriate method to resist corruption here in Thailand.
With the CAC’s policies and effective mechanisms, the companies joining CAC’s program would gain the ability to improve themselves in three different levels: self (uplift legal risk mitigation and international buyer expectation), sector (address sectorial corruption issue) and society (boost national competitiveness).
Kulvech concluded his presentation by providing the reasons why it was necessary for foreign firms to join CAC. He said that the companies should join the program to send strong signals to Thai counterparts to underline that foreign business communities stand firm against corruption and to show that the collaboration within countries that have high integrity can also help improving local practices.
Follow by the presentation from Pana Ratanabanangkoon, CAC Director, he raised the issues about the reasons why do companies pay bribes, and how companies of all sizes can be part of solutions.
Pana highlighted that companies pay bribes due to three reasons: to speed up process, to fix the error and to secure business through different methods such as giving gifts or taking part as a sponsorship and business partner.
And to be a part of solutions, he noted that companies of all sizes had to involve relevant personals within the organization in order to have the same understanding of the corruption’s definition so that each company can form the policies covering all forms of bribery in their industries.
The seminar was closed by Ratana Chobchai, Vice President, Ethics and Compliance Department, Total Access Communication PLC (DTAC), who shared a number of advantages that DTAC obtained from being a member of CAC.
The benefits of joining CAC helped DTAC to realize which part of the company should be improved and by completing all CAC’s processes, DTAC would gain the certification, an evidence indicating the adequacy of DATC’s anti-corruption program.
Not only that being the member of CAC can give achievements in company sector but also can bring society positive outcomes such as raising awareness and empowering society to fight against corruption.
This seminar on anti-corruption made the audiences realized that corruption was not that difficult to combat and if the foreign companies work together, they can change the game of the corruption and shape the future they want.