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July 18, 2003

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Doing Business in a Dangerous World

Rachel Briggs

More British companies than ever before are reaping the rewards of investing in emerging markets. But September 11th and subsequent events remind us that these rewards can come at a price for workers, ranging from kidnapping and violent attacks to petty street crime and health problems. It is therefore alarming that the response of the business community has been patchy. Some companies were well prepared before September 11; others note a new interest from their boards; but there are still many that are doing little or nothing.

The pamphlet argues that this inconsistency is happening for three reasons. Firstly, there is a legal vacuum that encourages inertia and leaves even conscientious companies unsure of their responsibilities. Secondly, there is a lack of publicly available information on the impact of risks on companies and their staff and the most effective way of managing them. Thirdly, there is no mechanism for coordinating the work of the UK Government and business to ensure their collective effort is worth more than the sum of its parts.

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