bangladesh-MACN-portEstablishing a National Collective Action Alliance

Background and Rationale

In Bangladesh, companies often encounter challenges related to corruption. However, those who choose to resist and report corruption are taking a brave stand even though it may involve facing delays, unjust fines, and potential threats to their business licenses. Currently, there is a limited but growing dialogue on integrity between the public and private sectors in the maritime industry, and there is an opportunity to establish mechanisms to monitor and address integrity issues in the Maritime trade. While corruption exists at various levels of society and the enforcement of anti-corruption laws is still developing, the issue of facilitation payments, though illegal, remains a common practice, highlighting the need for continued efforts to eliminate corrupt demands in ports.

MACN’s Strategy

  • MACN is partnering with the UN Global Compact (UNGC) in Bangladesh to establish a national Collective Action Alliance to create a platform for dialogue with authorities on how to address current gaps in legislation and operational practices in ports. MACN will deploy several tools designed to empower the private sector to resist and report corruption and enhance compliance practices.
  • By taking Collective Action and forming an alliance, the industry gains leverage and momentum to curb corruption and create a better business environment in Bangladesh.
  • Additionally, those who join the alliance will get access to valuable compliance tools and MACN’s Integrity training to help comply with ever-tightening global anti-corruption laws.

Outcomes and Impact

Following project funding from the Siemens Integrity Initiative, MACN took decisive first steps in 2021 by establishing a new Collective Action Initiative in Bangladesh and conducted an initial assessment of corruption risks in Bangladesh with input from the maritime industry. MACN drafted a Code of Conduct to build an alliance with relevant stakeholders (including ship owners, port agents, exporters, business associations, and other supply chain partners). MACN worked with UNGC in Bangladesh to focus on the recruitment of international and local companies for this initiative. MACN held over a dozen bilateral recruitment calls and held a virtual recruitment and launch webinar.

In 2022, MACN worked closely with the Bangladesh Shipping Agents’ Association (BSAA) and the UN Global Compact in Bangladesh to mitigate corruption in the Maritime sector of Bangladesh. In May 2022, the Collective Action Initiative was officially launched. We are now focusing our attention on receiving more commitment from government stakeholders. Prevalent challenges are a result of a lack of coordination between relevant authorities and bureaucratic complications in the sector.

MACN’s Local Partner

global-compact-network

The Global Compact Network Bangladesh (GCNB) is the local chapter of the United Nations Global Compact – the largest corporate sustainability initiative in the world. The GCNB seeks to promote responsible business practices through the implementation of the 10 Principles of the UN Global Compact and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Local Network supports and guides Bangladeshi companies in integrating the SDGs into business strategies and operations by offering innovative programmes, multi-stakeholder engagements, training, guidance, tools, and more. 

The Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN) has partnered with the UN Global Compact in Bangladesh to launch a Collective Action initiative on tackling integrity challenges in the port and shipping sector of Bangladesh. 

Activities Report

MACN-Bangladesh

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MACN Bangladesh Timeline

  • 2024

    • Formation of MACN Bangladesh Working Group (January 2024)
    • MACN Bangladesh 1st Working Group Meeting (February 2024)
    • MACN Bangladesh Report Launch & Seminar on Preventing Fraud in Maritime Trade and Commerce (May 2024)
    • MACN Bangladesh 1st Working Group Meeting (May 2024)
  • 2023

    • Industry Dialogue with Chittagong Port Authority on Development Imperatives & Integrity Challenges in the Ports of Bangladesh (February 2023)
    • Women’s Day Webinar on Opportunity and Challenges in Women’s Career Path in the Maritime Sector (March 2023)
    • Training held at Maritime University Bangladesh, International Maritime Academy, Ocean Maritime Academy, and National Maritime Institute (May 2023)
    • Seminar on The Role of Legislature and Judiciary in Protecting Blue Economy (August 2023)
  • 2022

    • Official Launch Collective Action Initiative Bangladesh
  • 2021

    • MACN Code of Conduct to build an alliance with relevant stakeholders

“It is all about creating an environment for change. Therefore, we need to have patience but at the same time find the root cause of corruption.”
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