FCPA can be used as a useful business development tool when dealing with government officials and customers in international markets by conducting a valuable training awareness program or seminar.
In 1977 FCPA Regulations were implanted in response to revelations of widespread bribery of foreign officials by U.S. companies. The US Regulation was intended to halt those corrupt practices, create a level playing field for honest businesses, and restore public confidence in the integrity of the marketplace. More recently, the Securities Exchange Commission has joined the Department of Justice is expanding the scope of what an FCPA violation means with vague, broad guidelines.
If one thinks US Multinationals are confused by the new regulation in nature and scope, one can only imagine the confusion of customers, vendors, government officials, and other stakeholders within over 80 International markets.
In many markets, the word “bribe” in business is not a negative reactionary term but respected and expected. In fact, in most emerging markets across Asia, Latin America, The Middle East, or Eastern Europe require this. If some form of a gift, payment, or consideration is not part of the agreement, it is considered rude and disrespectful, and business negotiation will stall.
Emerging Markets are even finding themselves in a position where they are reluctant to do business with US Multinationals for not respecting local customs and norms and not understanding the FCPA Regulation itself due to the complexity. US Multinationals under FCPA jurisdiction are losing billions of dollars in business opportunities within these markets since their “hands are tied” when it comes to ensuring strict FCPA Compliance. All of which has led to a significant loss in revenue.
However, there is a solution with a win-win for all parties, including the SEC and DOJ.
A robust FCPA/ Compliance and Controls Training Program delivered by US Companies to Emerging Markets customers, vendors, government officials, and other third parties to help third party markets better understand US Regulations and has led to a measurable increase in local sales/revenue.
Locally, language adapted, simple, effectively delivered (and maybe even “fun”) training programs using case study interactive examples in a classroom setting provided to local clients/customers/government officials/vendors provides an essential need of US FCPA and Compliance and Controls Requirements.
Private and Public Sector examples show that across Emerging Markets a robust, custom-developed FCPA Training Program, in the local language with interactive case studies successfully delivered in a hotel or meeting room including modest meals and beverages, will lead to increased sales/revenue and cost avoidance in the areas of Government Tender revenue, ease of custom clearings, and accelerated regulatory approvals of product or services.
The bottom line benefits are:
-FCPA Regulators appreciate the training and awareness of programs delivered throughout Emerging Markets avoiding subsequent fines and actions
-In-country clients/third parties and government officials enjoy learning about FCPA and how it might differ from their local country norms around bribing
-US Multi-Nationals could significantly increase revenue within emerging markets while complying with FCPA Regulations.