Sanctions against Swedish company in Laos lifted

The World Bank has lifted the sanctions that Hifab received after a road construction project in Laos. Photo: David Longstreath

The World Bank has lifted sanctions against the Swedish project management company Hifab International AB and Hifab Oy after the company was accused of corruption regarding a road project in Laos, Swedish media Aftonbladet reports.

Following an audit of a World Bank-financed assignment in Laos, the World Bank imposed in 2018 a sanction on Hifab International AB and Hifab Oy. The assignment concerned the project management of a road project that Hifab International AB carried out together with local partners from 2013 to 2014. The value of the assignment amounted to approximately SEK 3 million and after the investigation, it emerged that the employees of the Swedish company had been directly involved in corrupt practices.

Following the sanctions in 2018, Hifab has been working to address its business ethics and corruption issues. In a recent press release the company wrote:

“Solid work has been carried out, which has included updating the company’s code of conduct, training of all employees and clarifying routines and risk management. An anti-corruption program has also been established, which has served as support for project implementation and guidelines for internal follow-up.”

The World Bank has approved the work and lifted the sanction against Hifab International AB and Hifab Oy.

Patrik Schelin, Hifab’s CEO, commented:

“Our way of doing business is our biggest contribution to sustainable development, it is where we can be influential. It is therefore gratifying to experience such great commitment among our employees during the intensive integrity compliance activities in recent years. We can really stretch ourselves to become good role models and feel proud of ourselves and how we act.”

About Mette Larsen

ScandAsia Journalist • Scandinavian Publishing Co., Ltd. • Thailand

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