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Russian companies start push for integrity

November 2003

Three of Russia’s largest companies have helped establish a forum to promote business responsibility there.

Alfa Group (financial and industrial), Interros (investment) and Yukos (oil) played a key role in the formation of the Russia Partnership for Action on Corporate Governance and Social Responsibility, which will launch a drive to improve corporate responsibility.

Together with BP, Cisco Systems and Shell, they have become the first companies to support the partnership, which is run by the International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF) and its Russian partner, the Investor Protection Association, a non-profit body founded by Russian institutional investors.

Two investment companies with international and Russian links, CET and Finartis, have also helped to establish the partnership. Several other international companies operating in Russia, including Baker & McKenzie, Bovis Lend Lease, Ford, Nestle and PricewaterhouseCoopers, have said they will work with the initiative. The Russia Partnership will pioneer ‘peer group exchange’ on CSR and will organize roundtable discussions.

Robert Davies, chief executive of the IBLF, said one of the biggest obstacles to investment in Russia was the perception that business lacked integrity and transparency.

‘There is no doubt that Russia, as much as any large country in transition, is the new frontier for evolving CSR,’ he said.

The organization has published a briefing on the health challenges facing companies doing business in Russia and the implications for local procurement.




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