Matteson Ellis was quoted regarding the economic growth of "MINT" countries -- Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey. "In these rapidly developing economies you often find a 'boom-time' mentality. In the eyes of the company, that might mean increased competition and the temptation to cut corners. Government officials might view it as an opportunity to benefit personally," Ellis said regarding high levels of corruption generally associated with the areas.
Increased economic growth and activity in the MINTs can signify heightened transparency and improved anti-corruption standards as local governments seek to improve their economic reputations and attract foreign investments. "More and more global companies are setting up shop in Mexico and are increasingly taking seriously basic anti-corruption compliance expectations in international business," Ellis said. "They are implementing programmes that the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) want to see. When they do that, they bring those standards into these markets. They may require their agents and other third parties, joint venture partners and other affiliates to themselves certify compliance, engage in training or adopt their own anti-corruption compliance programmes. This means that, in Mexico, businesses are quickly waking up to new compliance expectations."
Ellis's advice to companies entering these markets is to stay informed regarding the relevant regulatory compliance requirements. "Companies often wrongly assume that compliance requirements are somehow vague or uncertain," he said. "It's really the opposite, we are given very clear guidance from the DOJ and the SEC and SFO on what they want to see. As long as companies are fulfilling those requirements, they are protected." But doing that, Ellis said, requires "attention, resources and a serious, sustained approach" on the part of business.