This year’s Balkan Compliance and Ethics Forum was organized by the WEFEC (West East Forum for Ethics and Compliance) in cooperation with the American Chamber of Commerce in BiH (AmCham).

BCEF 2018 has united multinational companies in the Compliance & Ethics as well as domestic companies in one place that strive to meet these business standards. One of the goals of the Forum was to promote international business standards, with a special focus on so-called “third parties, or local partners in the countries of the Western Balkans. The Forum also brought together Compliance Field Professionals from the countries of the region, as well as representatives of international development and financial institutions and organizations.

Bojan Bajić, President of WEFEC, Paul Horowitz, Deputy Chief of Mission of the US Embassy in Sarajevo, and Violeta Čibukčić, Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in BiH, gave the introductory words.

On the first panel, Olga Savran of the OECD Anti-Corruption Division, Franklin Steves of the EBRD’s Investment Climate and Management Initiative and Tetyana Korotka, Deputy Business Omdusman from Ukraine discussed the models through which companies can work together to raise the level of integrity in relations with business partners and public sector. Particularly interesting was the brief presentation by Ms. Tatyena Korotka on the establishment of the Business Omdusman in Ukraine and the effects of that institution on protecting the rights of companies in relation with public administration.

The second panel was reserved for representatives of international companies operating in the Western Balkans who spoke about good management practices aimed at protecting the company’s integrity in relation with third parties from the private and public sectors. Participants were addressed by Compliance professionals with domestic and international experience: Miloš Tanjević from Unicredit Bank Serbia and Miloš Stopić from the company Louis Berger International. Leaders of prominent international companies also gave their perspective: Adnan Filipović from ROCHE doo – ROCHE Ltd, Vesna Vlasic Jusupovic from McCANN Ltd and Mirza Bavcic from the Express Courier Ltd ASC for UPS in B&H.

In the first lecture, the representatives of the EBRD’s Office of the Chief Compliance officer Chiawen Kiew and Allison Smith presented which corporate standards of integrity are expected by international financial institutions and pointed out to companies most common mistakes.

The next lecture at the Forum, Compliance & Ethics Officer of the international company Louis Berger International, Miloš Stopić presented the best practices in designing the Compliance & Ethics program and how implemented in the right way can be a competitive advantage for the company.

The third lecture held by Milos Tanjevic from Unicredit Bank Serbia focused on the next phase in the implementation of anti-money laundering regulations which covers many legal entities that are liable under the anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing regulation which have not been in the focus of control of the regulators so far.

The last lecture of the Forum by Erne Mraznica from Raiffeisen bank Serbia was related to the new regulations on data privacy in the EU – General Data Protection regulation (GDPR) answering the question of what changes it brings to companies that operate in EU and how much it affects companies that operate outside the EU but have cooperation with companies from the EU?

Partners and sponsors of the Forum were the leading companies in their industries. The partners of the Forum were the Poslovne novine and McCANN Sarajevo, and the sponsors Express Courier – ASC for UPS in B&H, ROCHE d.o.o. – ROCHE Ltd, UniCredit Bank BiH and Smart Invest.