Mexico City, Mexico
Since April 2016, Alliance for Integrity has been offering its services and training programmes in Mexico which since then have gained great interest and commitment by the Mexican public and private sectors.
On 24 April, the Alliance of Integrity’s engagement in Mexico reached another milestone as a high-level Integrity Breakfast was held in the iconic Club de Banqueros de México in the country’s capital city. The meeting’s aim was to facilitate an executive dialogue and to present the Mexican private sector’s efforts to fight corruption and enhance integrity. The Integrity Breakfast was part of the agenda of Michael Fiebig, Head of unit ‘Churches, political foundations, social structural programmes, religion and development’ at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), who visited Mexico on this occasion.
The breakfast has been attended by a selected group of German and Mexican company executives who have been working closely with the Alliance for Integrity on the implementation of innovative internal anti-corruption measures and programmes that are already showing tangible results and changes in how these companies do business. Notable public officials and civil society representatives from both countries were also present and participated in exchange.
Claudia Lorek de Araújo, Deputy Director of the Alliance for Integrity, opened the event thanking the participants for their presence and recalling the Alliance for Integrity´s activities in the country so far. She emphasised the need to engage also in the country’s interior, outside of Mexico’s capital city, and to keep focusing on small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as they represent the backbone of the economy but have less resources and capacities available for anti-corruption measures than larger corporations. She, finally, invited all guests to share their vision of the role the Alliance of Integrity can play in the future.
After a brief round of introductions, the key note speech was given by Mr. Fiebig who set out the framework of the German-Mexican cooperation for development. He stressed the fight against corruption as an integral part of the German Government’s cross-sectional approach to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. At the same time, he highlighted the necessity of collective action that involves all stakeholders, including governments, civil society and the private sector, as well as the particular importance of the latter in transforming societies and economies towards a sustainable future. Mr. Fiebig pointed to the Alliance of Integrity as a best practice and an example to follow in other regions, particularly in Africa. Eventually, he gratefully acknowledged the Mexican private sector’s support for the Alliance of Integrity.
The invited guests then engaged in a fruitful discussion moderated by Carolina Echevarria, Coordinator Latin America at the Alliance for Integrity. Both, representatives of SMEs, as well as of larger corporations, agreed on the competitive advantages the effective implementation of corruption prevention measures and programmes have. Juan Carlos Alverde, CEO of Grupo Toks, a Mexican restaurant chain, described how his company is trying to implement measures throughout its value chain, which even allows it to reach and teach marginalised rural populations in the country. The President of the National Anti-Corruption Commission and representative of the Mexican Employers’ Confederation (COPARMEX), Alejandro Ríos, outlined how the confederation can help to advance trainings in the country’s interior and asked for more frequent visits of German companies that can present best practice examples to mexican companies.
The Integrity Breakfast ended with closing remarks by Lothar Rast, Director of the Governance Cluster of GIZ Mexico, who thanked for the attendance and the commitment to the promotion of corporate integrity. He reiterated the importance of a cross-sectoral approach that includes all stakeholders and the strategic importance of the private sector for the German-Mexican development cooperation.
Among the breakfast participants, can be highlighted the participation of the Subsecretary of the Public Function (SFP), Dr. Eber Betanzos, the President of the Citizen Participation Committee (CPC) of the National Anti-Corruption System, Mariclaire Acosta, and representatives of organisations such as Bimbo, COVESTRO and the Business Coordinating Council.
After the breakfast concluded, Claudia Lorek de Araújo showed herself very satisfied by the results of the event and its discussions: “The high-level Integrity Breakfast is a very fruitful and great modality to get important decision-makers and stakeholders exchange their views, to share best practices and to get to a common understanding. It is, definitively, a format the Alliance for Integrity will continue to use, in Mexico and in other countries and regions where it is actively engaged.”