On 7 Feb 2012, the China Business Leaders Forum (CBLF) organised its 19th roundtable on ‘Practical Compliance Strategy for Business in China’ at the Renmin University of China.
CBLF is a business-led initiative jointly run by IBLF and Renmin University. The session brought together nearly 40 senior executives from both major multinational companies and Chinese state-owned enterprises to discuss how companies can implement a successful compliance programme and control corruption risks. The high-level event was co-hosted by IBLF and the Renmin University of China. View the agenda here.
The event opened with a welcome speech from Brook Horowitz, Director of Business Standards and Regions at IBLF. He introduced some of the common challenges faced by companies when they operate in a foreign market, and how they can work with industry peers to optimise their own practices and improve the overall business environment.
Representatives from the business community – Ms. Isadora Garcia Torres, Cluster Compliance Officer, North East Asia and Regional Compliance Officer, Siemens and Mr. Sheng Xi, Chief Audit Executive, China Eastern Air Holding Company, then shared two impressive presentations. They introduced good practices of each company with focus on key compliance issues such as due diligent process, internal audit and risk control together with some of the practical tools they use.
Then, our guest of honour, Mr. Richard Alderman, Director of the UK’s Serious Fraud Office, gave a keynote speech titled “UK Bribery Act and its implication to business in China”. He introduced the China business community to the UK Bribery Act and the impact of the new UK Bribery Act on companies in China and how companies, both multinationals and Chinese ones, can prepare themselves to the new regulatory environment.
Following the presentations, participants were invited to the Q&A session and interactive discussion with three speakers. Facilitated by Neal Beatty, Regional Director, Global Client Services of Great China, Control Risks, a number of important questions were touched in the active discussion, which included:
- What are the essential principles of adequate procedures that regulators will expect to see in big companies?
- How should business handle sensitive issues, such as hospitality, in different cultural context?
- How can companies extend clean business practices to their distributors, agents and suppliers?
- What is the role of business leaders in “setting the tone from the top”?
- How does Serious Fraud Office cooperate with other government to enforce the UK Bribery Act?
- How can companies go beyond their own operations and cooperate to improve business environment through collective actions