Business Integrity in the Middle East and North Africa


Corruption is regularly reported as a major obstacle to doing business in the MENA region. A recent survey of the business environment (World Bank, 2015) showed that corruption stands in the top three greatest constraints faced by companies (together with political instability and informal sector prevalence) whether in the form of personal contacts, informal gifts and payments, or an unfair, partial and corrupted court system. Strengthening business integrity is a key lever to restoring investor confidence and level the playing field for doing business in the MENA region. "Clean" companies are more efficient and competitive, and governments can attract higher and better investments.

Governments and the private sector in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) recognise that corruption is a real threat to the political stability, economic development and social cohesions of their countries. Participants at the 2015 Steering Group meeting of the Competitiveness agreed that promoting business integrity should be part of the Programme's main directions for the 2016-2020 cycle of work.

The MENA-OECD Business Integrity Network supports business integrity by:

  • Facilitating policy dialogue between governments, private sector, and international partners and raising awareness of international integrity standards;

  • Studying measures taken by governments and by private sector to promote business integrity, identifying good practices and promoting their use at the regional level;

  • Building capacity of the governments and private sector practitioners necessary to implement business integrity measures through training and pilot projects.

The Network refers to the OECD standards, such as the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Officials in International Business Transactions, and other instruments as benchmarks for business integrity work in the region. The Network applies the OECD working methods of evidence-based policy dialogue, peer reviews, and mutual learning, in its activities.




Publications and references

Practices to Strengthen Business Integrity in the MENA Region / Arabic version

OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions and other instruments

OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises

OECD Principles on Corporate Governance

OECD Guidelines on Corporate Governance of State-Owned Enterprises

OECD CleanGovBiz Initiative

United Nations Convention Against Corruption

Anti-Corruption in Egypt: Policy Assessment for the Business Climate Development Strategy

Morocco - Business Climate Development Strategy


Siemens Integrity Initiative

UNDP Regional Project on Anti-Corruption and Integrity In the Arab Countries

Center for International Private Entreprise

Basel Institute on Governance

Transparency International

Further Resources

United Nations

World Bank


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