Webcast: FCPA Trends in the Emerging Markets of Asia, the Middle East and Africa

February 3, 2015

According to the most recent data released by the International Monetary Fund, China now ranks as the world’s largest economy in terms of purchasing-power-parity. India is rapidly closing the gap, with its highly skilled workforce and enticing consumer potential. Indonesia has also emerged as a significant world economic player, and relative stability in recent years has investors rushing to take advantage of the country’s large population and rich natural resources.

Although Africa experienced a slowdown in growth following the advent of the financial crisis, its average growth rate for the period 2008-2012 was about 2 percentage points higher than that of the world economy.[1] Although the Ebola outbreak has harmed a number of economies, particularly in West Africa, growth remained strong in other parts of the continent. The continued diversification of African economies means that many sectors are growing despite falling commodity prices.

As for the Middle East, 2014 was a tale of two regions. In the first, the continued civil war in Syria and the rise of ISIS in Iraq resulted in a spillover of violence to their neighbours that had a noticeable impact on growth within these countries. In the second, notwithstanding the recent downturn in the price of oil, the oil exporting nations of the Gulf continued to experience modest rates of growth. Moreover, economists believe that these countries will not suffer a recession and in some cases may experience growth rates of up to 4.5% in 2015.[2]

Virtually all multi-national corporations have entered or are entering these markets, yet the notable growth in these economies is concentrated in industries where fraud and bribery are prevalent. Significant government involvement in business transactions, complicated regulatory frameworks, and lack of transparency compound these risks.

Join our team of experienced international anti-corruption attorneys to learn more about how to do business in China, India, Indonesia the Middle East and Africa without running afoul of anti-corruption laws, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

View Slides [PDF]

[1] Meeting Africa’s Development Challenges in the Twenty-First Century (UNCTAD, 2014) and available at http://unctad.org/en/PublicationsLibrary/aldcafrica2014_en.pdf

[2] What Vlad can Learn from Chad: Why Some Commodity Exporters are Coping Better with Lower Prices than Others, The Economist (10 January 2015) http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21638197-why-some-commodity-exporters-are-coping-better-lower-prices-others-what-vlad-can-learn


Topics discussed include:

  • A brief overview of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the DOJ and SEC’s enforcement activities in 2014;
  • Recent FCPA enforcement actions brought by the DOJ and SEC involving business activities in China, India, Indonesia, the Middle East and Africa;
  • Analysis of the Financial Year 2014 Annual Report on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program with regard to tips received from emerging market countries;
  • China, India, Indonesia, the Middle East and African domestic anti-corruption efforts, including increasing local enforcement against private companies and multi-national corporations;
  • The rise of enforcement by non-governmental entities, such as the World Bank;
  • Overview of anti-corruption laws in China, India, Indonesia, the Middle East and Africa;
  • Corruption risk factors in China, India, Indonesia, the Middle East and Africa, including cultural context and history;
  • A discussion on recent Indian legislation and proposals, such as the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act (2013) and the new Companies Act (2013);
  • Consideration of the heightened risks of cross-sector regulation and increased challenges to conducting due diligence in China;
  • The recent change of power in Indonesia and what it means for local and international anti-corruption enforcement;
  • Analysis of the impact that increased conflict within the Middle East can have on corruption trends; and
  • A look at Africa’s continuing and developing efforts to combat its widespread problem with corruption, including legislative developments and local enforcement actions.

This presentation is a follow-on to our January 13, 2015 webcast titled FCPA Trends in the Emerging Markets of China, India, Russia, and Latin America. At client request, we have set this broadcast to accommodate participants in the Asia, Middle East and Africa time zones. The panelists will go into greater depth on AMEA risks and developments, and will be happy to take questions from across the region.


Our Panelists:

Kelly Austin — Partner-in-charge of Gibson Dunn’s Hong Kong office specializing in government investigations, regulatory compliance and international disputes. She has extensive expertise in government and corporate internal investigations, including those involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and anti-money laundering, securities, and trade control laws. Ms. Austin also regularly guides companies on creating and implementing effective compliance programs. From 2001 to 2010, Ms. Austin served as the Compliance and Litigation Counsel for General Electric in Asia. In that role, she coordinated litigation, alternative dispute resolution proceedings, government and internal investigations, and compliance matters for the GE businesses throughout the region.

Joel M. Cohen — Partner in the New York office of Gibson Dunn. Trial lawyer and former federal prosecutor, Mr. Cohen has led or participated in 24 civil and criminal trials in federal and state courts.
Mr. Cohen is equally comfortable leading confidential investigations, managing crises or advocating in court proceedings. Mr. Cohen’s experience includes all aspects of FCPA/anticorruption issues, insider trading, securities and financial institution litigation, class actions, sanctions, money laundering and asset recovery, with a particular focus on international disputes and discovery. Mr. Cohen was the prosecutor of Jordan Belfort and Stratton Oakmont, which is the focus of “The Wolf of Wall Street” film by Martin Scorsese. He was an adviser to OECD in connection with the effort to prohibit corruption in international transactions and was the first Department of Justice legal liaison advisor to the French Ministry of Justice.