Strengthening Democracy around the Globe
through Private Enterprise and Market-Oriented Reform


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Karen Kerrigan, CIPE Chair and President and CEO of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council

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Thomas J. Donohue, CIPE President and President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

The pace of change in the world remains rapid and often contradictory. The Middle East and North Africa have seen their people rise and struggle toward political reform, while the former Soviet sphere has seen democracy start to deteriorate. Burma undertook its first democratic election as Venezuela considers its future after Chavez. Syria’s civil uprising continued unabated as South Sudan became, finally, an independent nation. As the world continues to absorb these and other changes, CIPE’s global mission – to strengthen democracy through private enterprise and market oriented reform – remains more crucial than ever. CIPE’s partners throughout the world are poised and prepared to offer input and guidance to the transformation of their own economies, and are embracing the opportunities and responsibilities of democracy. As our partners establish their roles and priorities to advance reform, CIPE stands ready to help build the institutions that support and nurture democracy and economic growth.

Since 1983, CIPE has teamed with over 500 partners in more than 100 countries on nearly 1,400 programs dedicated to strengthening the intersection between democracy and economics. Across the spectrum from the private sector and other civil society players, CIPE engages with unique partners and program initiatives to help build strong, market-oriented democracies. These partners range from one of the foremost business associations in Kenya to a nascent economic think tank in Syria. In 2012, CIPE’s programs had wide-ranging impact. CIPE’s Pakistan office played an instrumental role in facilitating first-ever rules for the governance of state-owned enterprises, helping to diminish major opportunities for corruption. An innovative CIPE supported EmprendeAhora training program in Peru worked to empower young people with the knowledge they need to pursue their dreams of entrepreneurship while understanding the rights and responsibilities of a democratic citizen. In Central Asia, CIPE helped train journalists and university faculty in order to increase the public’s access to reliable information about the economy. And, CIPE led the creation of a committed group of global thinkers and reformers – the Free Enterprise and Democracy Network – to address the lack of private sector representation in global forums on democracy around the world.

2013 will mark the 30th anniversary of CIPE’s founding as both a core institute of the National Endowment for Democracy and as a proud affiliate of the US Chamber of Commerce. CIPE’s three decades of knowledge and experience in emerging markets ensure that it will remain well positioned to continue to fulfill its mission. We are pleased to present CIPE’s programmatic activities for 2012 and to report on the good work and accomplishments of our many global partners. With the ongoing support of the National Endowment for Democracy, the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. Department of State, the State Department’s Middle East Partnership Initiative, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and others, CIPE and its partners remain at the forefront of building market institutions that provide opportunities for sustainable economic growth and the development of democracy around the world.

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CIPE works to create and strengthen institutions of accountability, increase public participation in government, reform government agencies, and strengthen judicial systems.


CIPE works with local partners to achieve greater transparency in government, an unrestricted voice for reformers, and a greater public understanding of democratic, market-oriented principles.


CIPE seeks to reform ambiguous legal systems, implement standards for government agencies, make a link between cultural norms and rule of law, and improve governance mechanisms.


CIPE supports freedom of association and grassroots participation of private sector organizations by providing executive management courses and educational materials, assistance on advocacy strategies and organization governance, and support for marketoriented member services.


CIPE works to build systems of corporate governance, without which neither markets nor democratic governance can prosper. CIPE initiates and supports programs to reform laws and institutions, build support for business ethics, and raise public awareness of the need for effective corporate governance practices.


CIPE’s National Business Agenda approach encourages the private sector to identify laws and regulations that hinder business activity and offers recommendations to remove barriers and improve the climate for entrepreneurship.


CIPE works to remove institutional and cultural barriers to women’s participation in society. We view women’s empowerment through the prism of building linkages between educational, political, civic, and economic empowerment, where civil society organizations – especially women’s business associations – become a leading force to remove barriers and empower women to shape the future of their own countries.


CIPE focuses on building skills through entrepreneurship and management programs and supporting associations that provide networking, services, and forums for young leaders.


CIPE and its partners bridge the gap between the informal sector and the formal economy by supporting the democratic voice and participation of the informal sector, reforming business registration procedures, and strengthening private property rights.

  • Foster institutions necessary to establish and sustain market-oriented democracies.
  • Improve governance through transparency and accountability in the public and private sectors.
  • Increase private sector participation in the democratic process.
  • Strengthen freedom of association and private, voluntary business associations.
  • Increase support for and understanding of the freedoms, rights, and responsibilities essential to market-oriented democracies among government officials, businesspeople, media, and the public.
  • Promote an entrepreneurial culture and understanding of how markets work.
  • Expand access to information necessary for sound entrepreneurial and policy decisions.

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Around the world, tens of millions of men and women strive every day to improve their lives through private enterprise. Over time, their individual accomplishments can add up to wholesale economic and political transformation. But in order for these businesspeople to create change, they need more than ideas and energy. They need a level playing field, fair and inclusive markets, and clear rules of the game. This is where the work of the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) begins, partnering with the private sector to help build the infrastructure of market economies and encourage democratic reform.


Middle East and North Africa

Change continued to dominate the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in 2012. While some nations found a measure of normalcy, others confronted sectarian clashes and civil war. Throughout the region, CIPE’s partners served as a source of skills, knowledge, and inspiration for citizens advocating for democratic institutions and free markets.

South Asia

South Asia’s future is undermined by rampant corruption, disenfranchisement of women and youth, and weak democratic institutions. CIPE demonstrated the value of its sustained efforts in the region this year, as a four-year initiative to reform state-owned enterprises (SOEs) led to the creation of a set of draft rules for SOE corporate governance in Pakistan. These have been endorsed at the highest levels and are moving through the approval process.


As strong national leaders reassert control in many Eurasian countries, the window for reform has begun to narrow. In response, CIPE and its partners focused on journalists and educators who are well positioned to increase public awareness of democratic and free market concepts. CIPE worked to strengthen networks and coalitions of business organizations and to help local thought leaders engage effectively and sustainably in the reform process.


The informal, micro, small, and medium-sized enterprise sectors in Africa represent tremendous potential for economic growth – if the business environment can be modified to support their success. CIPE’s 2012 programs in Africa helped business associations, civil society groups, and think tanks gain the capacity to advocate more effectively. The result was a series of laws removing burdensome regulation and reforming tax codes.


Throughout Asia, CIPE contributed to the maturing of democratic principles, ideals, and institutions. Thanks to CIPE’s efforts and those of its partners, there is a growing recognition that sound corporate and public governance promote a more vibrant economy and lead to higher living standards.

Latin America and the Caribbean

A major 2012 theme in Latin America and the Caribbean for CIPE was empowering citizens with the insight and skills needed to participate in the political system and make their mark in the local economy. Many of CIPE’s partners found the Internet to be a powerful tool for conveying vital information and fostering dialogue.


CIPE’s Global programs in 2012 focused on building broad consensus for democratic and economic reform. As part of this effort, CIPE and its partners have launched a number of initiatives to disseminate best practices worldwide and build a global network of likeminded organizations.

The projects and partners featured in the “2012 Annual Report” represent only a few of the many committed, dedicated individuals and organizations who work tirelessly to nurture democracies that deliver real results for citizens and market economies.

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© 2013
Center for International Private Enterprise

The Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) strengthens democracy around the globe through private enterprise and market-oriented reform. CIPE is one of the four core institutes of the National Endowment for Democracy and an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Since 1983, CIPE has worked with business leaders, policymakers, and journalists to build the civic institutions vital to a democratic society. CIPE’s key program areas include anticorruption, advocacy, business associations, corporate governance, democratic governance, access to information, the informal sector and property rights, and women and youth. CIPE programs are supported by the National Endowment for Democracy, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Department of State, and the Middle East Partnership Initiative.

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Center for International Private Enterprise

2012 Annual Report