In Georgia, the tax code was simplified, including the elimination of many tax loopholes and a reduction in the number of taxes and import tariffs. One-stop windows were introduced for customs clearing procedures. In Rwanda, reforms led to significant improvements in collection efforts and auditing procedures. The reforms in these countries were part of larger and radical public sector reforms, with a clear message from the political leadership that corruption will not be tolerated.
Local ownership, leadership and data analytics Local ownership is essential for the sustainability of anti-corruption reforms in customs, and it is important to offer political backing to reformers. At early stage of reforms, it is important to have measures that lead to an increase in customs revenue as it helps to establish credibility and trust in the reform process for high-level officials.
Evidence shows that women and other groups that face power inequity have an essential role to play in achieving natural resource management (NRM) and conservation results (Leisher et al. 2016). Many corrupt actions are only feasible for those with money and power, and corruption often perpetuates and deepens power networks. When programs and reforms are developed to prevent and address the corruption behind negative environmental and social outcomes, how can a gender lens help?
Corruption thrives on and perpetuates weaknesses in governance and accountability mechanisms. Reducing corruption in natural resource governance involves enhancing accountability, integrity and transparency throughout the system. At the same time, a central lesson of anti-corruption work is that the same reforms are rarely likely to work in every context, so carefully assessing the context and conditions necessary for those reforms to be successful is essential (USAID 2015, DFID 2015). Equal treatment and non-discrimination are part of good governance, and they also create conditions that can encourage greater accountability.
Fighting corruption is not easy. Anti-corruption campaigns are more often limited to rhetoric, and are only rarely sustained. Moreover, political leaders in some countries are either unable or unwilling to pursue bold reforms because of the political risks. Many prime ministers and finance ministers lose their jobs over less controversial issues, such as reforming price subsidies.
Even in countries as corrupt as Russia, one can still find bright spots. Obninsk, a small city not far from Moscow, launched anti-corruption reforms without much help from the federal government, emphasizing the same sort of transparency and accountability as Campo Elias. While the experiments in Russia and Venezuela are too new to allow for detailed data, the early results are promising enough to make the idea an attractive one for other countries.
Transferring the lessons of special governance zones to a nationwide reform effort poses new challenges. Nonetheless, a successful special governance zone substantially raises the likelihood of success. First, a working special governance zone can serve as a model for the rest of the country. Second and more importantly, because bureaucrats often use tradition or culture as an excuse to stifle anti-corruption reforms, a successful SGZ in a place with identical tradition and culture undermines this excuse and can provide new impetus for reforms in other parts of the country. In addition, as capital and talent start to move into the SGZ from parts of the country still marred by corruption, pressures increase for real change in these local governments. The beneficial spillover can go to the central government level as well. An initial success in a locality provides lessons, removes excuses, and exerts pressure for the center to start increasing transparency and accountability.
As mentioned above, evidence suggests that the relationship between corruption and economic growth can be nonlinear. It is therefore not unreasonable to expect corruption to have nonlinear effects on emigration decisions, with emigration rates rising at low levels of corruption and then declining as corruption increases.
VI. Ignite a New Era of Global Economic Growth through Free Markets and Free Trade"When nations close their markets and opportunity is hoarded by aprivileged few, no amount-no amount-of development aid is ever enough.When nations respect their people, open markets, invest in betterhealth and education, every dollar of aid, every dollar oftrade revenue and domestic capital is used more effectively."President BushMonterrey, MexicoMarch 22, 2002A strong world economy enhances our nationalsecurity by advancing prosperity and freedom inthe rest of the world. Economic growth supportedby free trade and free markets creates new jobsand higher incomes. It allows people to lift theirlives out of poverty, spurs economic and legalreform, and the fight against corruption, and itreinforces the habits of liberty.We will promote economic growth andeconomic freedom beyond America’s shores. Allgovernments are responsible for creating theirown economic policies and responding to theirown economic challenges.We will use oureconomic engagement with other countries tounderscore the benefits of policies that generatehigher productivity and sustained economicgrowth, including:pro-growth legal and regulatory policies toencourage business investment, innovation,and entrepreneurial activity;tax policies—particularly lower marginal taxrates—that improve incentives for work andinvestment;rule of law and intolerance of corruption sothat people are confident that they will beable to enjoy the fruits of their economicendeavors;strong financial systems that allow capital tobe put to its most efficient use;sound fiscal policies to support businessactivity;investments in health and education thatimprove the well-being and skills of thelabor force and population as a whole; andfree trade that provides new avenues forgrowth and fosters the diffusion of technologiesand ideas that increase productivityand opportunity.The lessons of history are clear: marketeconomies, not command-and-control economieswith the heavy hand of government, are the bestway to promote prosperity and reduce poverty.Policies that further strengthen market incentivesand market institutions are relevant for alleconomies—industrialized countries, emergingmarkets, and the developing world.A return to strong economic growth in Europeand Japan is vital to U.S. national security interests.We want our allies to have strong economiesfor their own sake, for the sake of the globaleconomy, and for the sake of global security.European efforts to remove structural barriers intheir economies are particularly important in thisregard, as are Japan’s efforts to end deflation andaddress the problems of non-performing loans inthe Japanese banking system.We will continue touse our regular consultations with Japan and ourEuropean partners—including through the Groupof Seven (G-7)—to discuss policies they areadopting to promote growth in their economiesand support higher global economic growth.Improving stability in emerging markets is alsokey to global economic growth. Internationalflows of investment capital are needed to expandthe productive potential of these economies. Theseflows allow emerging markets and developingcountries to make the investments that raise livingstandards and reduce poverty. Our long-termobjective should be a world in which all countrieshave investment-grade credit ratings that allowthem access to international capital markets andto invest in their future.We are committed to policies that will helpemerging markets achieve access to larger capitalflows at lower cost. To this end, we will continueto pursue reforms aimed at reducing uncertaintyin financial markets.We will work actively withother countries, the International Monetary Fund(IMF), and the private sector to implement theG-7 Action Plan negotiated earlier this year forpreventing financial crises and more effectivelyresolving them when they occur.The best way to deal with financial crises is toprevent them from occurring, and we haveencouraged the IMF to improve its efforts doingso.We will continue to work with the IMF tostreamline the policy conditions for its lendingand to focus its lending strategy on achievingeconomic growth through sound fiscal andmonetary policy, exchange rate policy, andfinancial sector policy.The concept of "free trade" arose as a moralprinciple even before it became a pillar ofeconomics. If you can make something that othersvalue, you should be able to sell it to them. Ifothers make something that you value, you shouldbe able to buy it. This is real freedom, the freedomfor a person—or a nation—to make a living. Topromote free trade, the Unites States has developeda comprehensive strategy:Seize the global initiative. The new globaltrade negotiations we helped launch at Dohain November 2001 will have an ambitiousagenda, especially in agriculture, manufacturing,and services, targeted for completionin 2005. The United States has led the way incompleting the accession of China and ademocratic Taiwan to the World TradeOrganization.We will assist Russia’spreparations to join the WTO.Press regional initiatives. The United Statesand other democracies in the WesternHemisphere have agreed to create the FreeTrade Area of the Americas, targeted forcompletion in 2005. This year the UnitedStates will advocate market-access negotiationswith its partners, targeted onagriculture, industrial goods, services, investment,and government procurement.We willalso offer more opportunity to the poorestcontinent, Africa, starting with full use ofthe preferences allowed in the AfricanGrowth and Opportunity Act, and leadingto free trade.Move ahead with bilateral free tradeagreements. Building on the free tradeagreement with Jordan enacted in 2001,the Administration will work this year tocomplete free trade agreements with Chileand Singapore. Our aim is to achieve freetrade agreements with a mix of developedand developing countries in all regions ofthe world. Initially, Central America,Southern Africa, Morocco, and Australia willbe our principal focal points.Renew the executive-congressional partnership.Every administration’s trade strategydepends on a productive partnership withCongress. After a gap of 8 years, theAdministration reestablished majoritysupport in the Congress for trade liberalizationby passing Trade Promotion Authorityand the other market opening measures fordeveloping countries in the Trade Act of2002. This Administration will work withCongress to enact new bilateral, regional,and global trade agreements that will beconcluded under the recently passed TradePromotion Authority.Promote the connection between trade anddevelopment. Trade policies can help developingcountries strengthen property rights,competition, the rule of law, investment, thespread of knowledge, open societies, the efficientallocation of resources, and regionalintegration—all leading to growth, opportunity,and confidence in developing countries.The United States is implementing TheAfrica Growth and Opportunity Act toprovide market-access for nearly all goodsproduced in the 35 countries of sub-Saharan Africa.We will make more use ofthis act and its equivalent for the CaribbeanBasin and continue to work with multilateraland regional institutions to help poorercountries take advantage of these opportunities.Beyond market access, the mostimportant area where trade intersects withpoverty is in public health.We will ensurethat the WTO intellectual property rules areflexible enough to allow developing nationsto gain access to critical medicines forextraordinary dangers like HIV/AIDS,tuberculosis, and malaria.Enforce trade agreements and laws againstunfair practices. Commerce depends on therule of law; international trade depends onenforceable agreements. Our top prioritiesare to resolve ongoing disputes with theEuropean Union, Canada, and Mexico andto make a global effort to address new technology,science, and health regulations thatneedlessly impede farm exports andimproved agriculture. Laws against unfairtrade practices are often abused, but theinternational community must be able toaddress genuine concerns about governmentsubsidies and dumping. Internationalindustrial espionage which undermines faircompetition must be detected and deterred.Help domestic industries and workers adjust.There is a sound statutory framework forthese transitional safeguards which we haveused in the agricultural sector and which weare using this year to help the American steelindustry. The benefits of free trade dependupon the enforcement of fair trading practices.These safeguards help ensure that thebenefits of free trade do not come at theexpense of American workers. Trade adjustmentassistance will help workers adapt tothe change and dynamism of open markets.Protect the environment and workers. TheUnited States must foster economic growthin ways that will provide a better life alongwith widening prosperity.We will incorporatelabor and environmental concerns intoU.S. trade negotiations, creating a healthy“network” between multilateral environmentalagreements with the WTO, and usethe International Labor Organization, tradepreference programs, and trade talks toimprove working conditions in conjunctionwith freer trade.Enhance energy security. We will strengthenour own energy security and the sharedprosperity of the global economy byworking with our allies, trading partners,and energy producers to expand the sourcesand types of global energy supplied, especiallyin the Western Hemisphere, Africa,Central Asia, and the Caspian region.Wewill also continue to work with our partnersto develop cleaner and more energy efficienttechnologies.Economic growth should be accompanied byglobal efforts to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrationsassociated with this growth, containingthem at a level that prevents dangerous humaninterference with the global climate. Our overallobjective is to reduce America’s greenhouse gasemissions relative to the size of our economy,cutting such emissions per unit of economicactivity by 18 percent over the next 10 years, bythe year 2012. Our strategies for attaining this goalwill be to:remain committed to the basic U.N.Framework Convention for internationalcooperation;obtain agreements with key industries to cutemissions of some of the most potentgreenhouse gases and give transferablecredits to companies that can show real cuts;develop improved standards for measuringand registering emission reductions;promote renewable energy production andclean coal technology, as well as nuclearpower—which produces no greenhouse gasemissions, while also improving fueleconomy for U.S. cars and trucks;increase spending on research and newconservation technologies, to a total of$4.5 billion—the largest sum being spent onclimate change by any country in the worldand a $700 million increase over last year’sbudget; andassist developing countries, especially themajor greenhouse gas emitters such as Chinaand India, so that they will have the toolsand resources to join this effort and be ableto grow along a cleaner and better path. 2b1af7f3a8