Membership of the international business association TRACE will help Patria to strengthen its ethical practices. Responsible operations are the basis for growth in the international market.

Text: Matti Remes Logo: TRACE Photo: Patria

Patria has joined TRACE, an international business association whose mission is to help companies prevent corruption and promote good governance and compliance with laws and regulations.

Rosa Rosanelli, Patria Group Export Compliance Officer
Rosa Rosanelli, VP, Compliance

TRACE is a non-profit organisation founded in 2001. Its members include about 500 international companies from around the world. Members must commit to responsible operating practices.

The members of TRACE also include the Norwegian defence industry company Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace AS, which has a minority holding in Patria.

Rosa Rosanelli, who heads up Patria’s compliance team, says that TRACE’s networks and databases will provide Patria with valuable information on the local legislation and practices of different countries.

“Obtaining accurate and up-to-date information is often a challenge in many countries. TRACE’s extensive network will help us in this,” says Rosanelli.

She says that TRACE membership will also facilitate the assessment of bribery-related risks in different countries. For instance, the association publishes the annual TRACE Bribery Risk Matrix, which measures the risk of corruption in 194 countries and regions.

Greater emphasis on responsibility

Rosanelli says that responsibility issues will assume even greater importance in the years ahead as Patria seeks profitable growth in the international market. The export and production of defence industry products and the transfer of technology are without exception subject to a licence. The company must comply with the legislation of not only Finland, but also the target countries.

“For a responsible company, it’s vitally important to act in strict compliance with laws and regulations in all its operating countries,” emphasises Rosanelli.

There are country-specific differences in ethical principles and regulations – and their interpretation is not always unambiguous. According to Rosanelli, it must also be made clear to local partners that even if certain practices are legal and generally accepted in the country in question, they might not necessarily be acceptable under the standards with which Patria complies.

“The TRACE business association shares best practices and information on issues such as what kinds of partner gifts and hospitality are permitted and what forms of charity are acceptable in the target country.”

Recognition for anti-bribery efforts

As a responsible actor, Patria systematically develops different aspects of social responsibility. The main focus has been on the development of openness, ethical practices and anti-bribery measures.

The results of these efforts are evident in Patria’s ranking in the second-highest category, B, in the Defence Companies Anti-Corruption Index (DCI) 2020 published last year by Transparency International Defence & Security. That was the goal set by Patria.

Patria and Kongsberg in turn have a joint project to promote trade compliance, which seeks to develop operating models for the companies’ export control by sharing best practices and improving operational capabilities in international business.