Lima, Peru, June 1, 2005 — More than
350 public sector leaders, representing municipal, provincial, and national
government bodies, attended the first International Congress on Best Practices
in Governance, sponsored by the International Finance Corporation’s Technical
Assistance Facility for Latin America and the Caribbean, Ciudadanos al
Día (a Peruvian NGO dedicated to promoting transparecy and efficiency in
governance), AVINA, and the national Public Defender’s office.
The congress was designed to provide public sector leaders with a forum
for exchanging ideas and experiences in improving government efficiency
and transparency.During the plenary session, Ciudadanos al Día presented
the finalists for its annual awards for Best Practice in Governance. The
congress also featured workshops on improving transparency in contracting
and procurement, public-private partnerships, facilitating access to public
information, and enforcing policy compliance.
Simplifying business regulations was another important theme of the congress.
According to World Bank’s Doing Business in 2005 report,
excessive red tape at the municipal level represents one of the major barriers
to formalizing a business. In Peru, for example, starting a business takes
almost 100 days, on average, and approximately 50% of that time is spent
complying with municipal business regulations.
In conjunction with the congress, Ciudadanos al Día and IFC hosted a workshop
to present guidelines for a National Plan for the Simplification of Municipal
Administrative Procedures for Businesses, drafted through a series of meetings
with municipal governments and private sector associations from across
the country. Participating in the workshop were leaders from 16 major municipalities—including
Lima, Callao, Piura, Arequipa, Ilo, and Tacna—as well as representatives
from the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the Presidential Council of Ministries,
the Center for the Promotion of Small and Medium Enterprises, the National
Confederation of Private Enterprise Institutions, the Peruvian Chamber
of Construction, and the Peruvian Association of Exporters.
“Creating competition through events such as this one generates incentives
for public sector institutions to improve their governance. The facility’s
work with Ciudadanos al Día in promoting the exchange of best practices
and fostering dialogue between public and private sector representatives
demonstrates the integrated approach IFC is taking in its work on simplifying
business regulations,” commented Atul Mehta, IFC director for Latin America
and the Caribbean.
The mission of IFC (www.ifc.org)
is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing and transition
economies, helping to reduce poverty and improve people's lives. IFC finances
private sector investments in the emerging markets, mobilizes capital in
the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental
sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments
and businesses. From its founding in 1956 through FY04, IFC has committed
more than $44 billion of its own funds and arranged $23 billion in syndications
for 3,143 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed
portfolio as of FY04 was $17.9 billion for its own account and $5.5 billion
held for participants in loan syndications.
ABOUT IFC TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE FACILITY FOR LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN
The IFC Technical Assistance Facility for Latin America and the Caribbean
is a multilateral initiative backed by core IFC funds and program-specific
funds from various donors (including Canada, Netherlands, Norway, and Switzerland).
The facility's work program is focused on improving the business environment,
enhancing local benefits from IFC investments, and strengthening the competitiveness
of small and medium enterprises. Based in Lima, the facility is operating
in six countries (Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Peru)
and is exploring opportunities in other countries of the region.