Fiji’s Young Entrepreneurs Council (YEC) reaffirmed their commitment to building and operating their businesses with integrity on Monday.
Following two (2) Fiji Young Entrepreneurs Integrity Workshops held last year, YEC today launched their Outcome Statement highlighting seven (7) actions they plan to take in their anti-corruption endeavour.
These include committing to business integrity, addressing the issue of corruption, prioritizing compliance to operating procedures and the development and implementation of anti-corruption policies to strengthen their business approach.
Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) Principal Corruption Prevention Officer Arti Naidu congratulated the Council and challenged them to be the game changers in fighting corruption in the business sector.
“You are the one that can actually change the arena of how this game of business is going to be played in the next 10, 20 or 30 years down the line,” she said.
She also shared about the Commission’s plans to expand their anti-bribery campaign to the private sector following the launch of the ‘I don’t accept bribes’ campaign, which is currently ongoing with Fiji’s civil servants.
Naidu encouraged the young entrepreneurs to also take ownership and say ‘I don’t give bribes’.
“Set the standard high, set the benchmark so high that the international market, international community and business looks at us in a very different way and we become the leaders in the Pacific of how things should be done.”
United Nations Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption (UN-PRAC) Project Anti-Corruption Advisor Sonja Stefanovska-Trajanoska emphasized that the complexity and systemic nature of corruption called for partnerships and collective action.
She added that the private sector and young entrepreneurs had the responsibility to know how to run their business with integrity and to promote a fair business environment with zero tolerance for corruption.
Furthermore, she reiterated that it was imperative to know how to prevent and fight corruption, as it is an enemy to entrepreneurship and innovation in society.
YEC Chairperson Watesoni Nata Jr. thanked FICAC for the anti-corruption knowledge shared during the workshops last year and expressed the Council’s eagerness to have more training this year.
The Young Entrepreneurs Integrity Workshops was organised by the UN-PRAC Project in partnership with the Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation (FCEF) and was attended by 56 young entrepreneurs from the Central, Western and Northern divisions last year.
FICAC was privileged to be part of these workshops and looks forward to future partnerships and playing an active role in helping these young entrepreneurs operate their businesses with strong anti-corruption principles.