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Stay One Step Ahead: Master the Essentials of Cybersecurity Readiness!


From data breaches to phishing scams, cybercrime is on the rise, and it's time to arm yourself with the knowledge and tools to stay safe in the digital world. Recently, Dave Lewis, Global Advisory Chief Information Security Officer at Cisco Security, conducted a satellite media tour to share tips and tricks to outsmart cyber criminals and stay safe online. A video accompanying this announcement is available at: After surveying over 6,700 cybersecurity leaders worldwide, Cisco found that less than 15% of companies were ‘Mature’ enough (or considered to have advanced enough security) to defend against modern cybersecurity risks, even though 82% of respondents said they expect a cybersecurity incident to disrupt their business in the next two years. While this may not seem to directly impact consumers at first, the aftermath can take a large toll on the public, causing emails, credit cards and personal information to be leaked on the internet. Here are some tips that Lewis shared: · Be a safe shopper: o Never use a debit card, use a credit card, I like one specifically for online purchases. o Don’t save your personal or credit card information on any company site – If they company doesn’t have it, the company can’t lose it, and the criminals can’t steal it. o Closely watch your online accounts. · Build cyber street smarts - Criminals will use information from a breach against you: o Evaluate the company before sharing personal information. o Only share essential information with any company or third-party. o Know the signs of a scam - If it seems too good to be true, if there’s too much pressure. · Personal resilience - Expect breaches: o Use multi-factor on all accounts. o Use separate email addresses and credit cards – our phones may make this easier. o Talk about it when it happens – empathy and compassion, kinder than necessary. According to Cisco, 60% of respondents said they had a cybersecurity incident in the last year, which cost 41% of organizations affected at least $500,000. While forward-looking businesses are investing in resilience and focused on improving their ability to defend against and minimize the impact of an attack, consumers also must take an active role in protecting their own information, especially as breaches become more and more inevitable. To learn more about this and Cisco’s Cybersecurity Readiness Index, visit: BIO: Dave Lewis is a Global Advisory CISO at Cisco Security. He has 25 years of experience in IT security operations and management including a decade dealing with critical infrastructure security. He is the founder of the security site Liquidmatrix Security Digest and writes columns for Daily Swig, Forbes and several other publications. Contact Details YourUpdateTV +1 212-736-2727

May 11, 2023 02:59 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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Shareholder Calls for Removal of Dan Schulman from Board at Verizon Annual Meeting

National Legal & Policy Center

Today, Paul Chesser, Director of the National Legal and Policy Center ’s Corporate Integrity Project, gave remarks at Verizon Communications Inc.’s annual meeting in Salt Lake City, to support a shareholder proposal the ethics group filed with the company. NLPC’s proposal would require the company to itemize and disclose the nature of ‘take-down requests’ it has received from the U.S. government. Revelations from “The Twitter Files,” about the aggressive efforts by the federal government to pressure social media and telecommunications companies to censor critics and political enemies of public officials, was part of the motivation for the proposal. During Chesser’s presentation, he also called for the removal of Dan Schulman, CEO of PayPal, from the Verizon board of directors. Schulman has presided over extensive censorship, de-platforming and punitive financial measures against customers during his tenure at PayPal. The full text of Chesser’s remarks is below: Verizon opposes our proposal for a report on government takedown requests because the Company says it already publishes so-called “ Transparency Reports,” and therefore the report we request isn’t necessary. But what Verizon calls a “Transparency Report,” is nothing of the sort. The report we seek asks for specific requests for censorship that Verizon has received from all branches of the United States government. All Verizon’s alleged “Transparency Reports” give you are numbers, and zero transparency. As we have seen from the revelations in the “ Twitter Files,” agencies controlled by the White House censored their critics via social and corporate media entities, at an unprecedented scale. For example, major tech companies including Verizon met monthly with the FBI and Homeland Security ahead of the 2020 election, to discuss how to handle so-called “election misinformation.” Platforms, including those controlled by Verizon, reportedly removed alleged “misinformation” at the request of the government. Yet there are no such disclosures of any censorship incidents in Verizon’s phony “Transparency Report.” But the type of report we request would include them. Verizon also engaged in election interference when it abruptly shut down a test run of one of Donald Trump’s most important voter-contact programs one weekend in July 2020, potentially costing the former president millions of dollars in donations. And in 2021, members of Congress who regulate the telecom industry wrote to Verizon urging them to drop One America News Network and other conservative-leaning news channels. Verizon ended its 17-year relationship with OANN, while the discredited, flailing CNN remains on the Company’s channel listings. If Verizon truly wanted to stop “misinformation,” they would dump CNN. Verizon, meanwhile, claims that, “Our respect for the right to freedom of expression of opinion is fundamental to our business.” Because of these examples I cited and others, we doubt that Verizon genuinely believes in freedom of speech. But if Verizon wants the public to believe that, one step they could take is to ask for the resignation of Dan Schulman from the Board of Directors. While he’s been CEO of PayPal, his company has implemented some of the most extreme cancel culture and censorship policies in Corporate America, including trying to impose a $2,500 fine of account holders who allegedly promote “misinformation.” PayPal also terminated, without warning, the account of one of the last remaining pro-Democracy groups in Hong Kong, before it fell to the communist Chinese government. I could cite many more examples of PayPal’s cancel culture actions during Mr. Schulman’s tenure. He has no business being on the board of a major media or telecom corporation – or any company for that matter. Thank you, and please vote FOR Item 5 on the proxy statement. END REMARKS NLPC has filed more than two dozen shareholder proposals this proxy season, and appeared at the annual meetings of Apple, Disney, Starbucks, Coca-Cola, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Berkshire Hathaway, and Boeing, and will similarly present resolutions at many other companies in the coming weeks. Founded in 1991, NLPC promotes ethics in public life and government accountability through research, investigation, education, and legal action. ### For more information or to schedule an interview with an NLPC representative, contact Dan Rene at 202-329-8357 or Please visit Contact Details National Legal and Policy Center Dan Rene +1 202-329-8357 Company Website

May 11, 2023 11:51 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Shareholder Arrested During Presentation of Proposal at Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting

National Legal & Policy Center

During the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting on Saturday in Omaha, Peter Flaherty had his microphone cut, was arrested, and forcibly removed from the arena. Flaherty is the Chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), which was the sponsor of Proposal #8 to “require hereafter that two separate people hold the office of the Chairman and the office of the CEO.” In support of this resolution for an independent chair, Flaherty attempted to assert that Berkshire “would be less identified with Mr. Buffett’s personal political activities,” and cited Buffett’s support for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, among other factors. Resolution proponents were allowed three minutes each to speak in support of their proposals. Three other proponents spoke before Flaherty without interruption, including Michael Frerichs, Treasurer of Illinois. Video of the event shows that at 1:08 into his remarks, Flaherty was approached and interrupted at the microphone. It was by Cathy Woollums, a Berkshire official who was a designated liaison with proponents for the meeting. Not audible through the sound system, Woollums told Flaherty that he should stay “on topic.” Flaherty stated into the microphone, “You are not going to censor what I say, ma’am. I’m very sorry. And I appeal to the Chair (occupied by Warren Buffett) that I be allowed to continue. Sir?” Buffett stated, “You may continue but under the three-minute limitation.” Flaherty replied, “Of course,” and resumed speaking at the 1:28 mark until the 2:04 mark when his mike went dead. At the 1:55 mark Warren Buffett attempted to start talking over Flaherty and appeared to give direction to other persons in the hall. This portion of Flaherty’s remarks concerned Bill Gates’ relationship with Jeffrey Epstein. Immediately, two representatives of Clark International Security approached and stood in front of Flaherty. He was told to leave or he would be arrested. Flaherty replied that he would leave when he finished his statement. At this point, Flaherty was not fully aware that his mike had been cut, was still under the three-minute limitation, and had already received a favorable ruling from the chair. One of the Clark representatives summoned a uniformed Omaha policeman who was nearby and requested that he arrest Flaherty. He grabbed Flaherty by the arm, advised him that he was under arrest, and led him from the arena. Flaherty was transported by Omaha police to the Douglas County Corrections Center where he was searched, handcuffed, and charged with criminal trespass. Here is a transcript of what transpired before the microphone went dead: I am Peter Flaherty, Chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center. If we had an independent chair, the Company would be less identified with Mr. Buffett’s political activities. He’s donated tens of billions to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. As Bill Gates explained when the couple was still together, “although the foundation bears our names, basically half our resources have come from Warren Buffett.” If “woke” culture is a disease, then philanthropy is the virus. The Gates Foundation bankrolls the teaching of Critical Race Theory around the country, including that math is inherently racist. The Gates Foundation offers a Gender Identity Toolbox which asserts that gender is the result of “socially and culturally constructed ideas.” This is a lie. Gender is not a cultural construct. It is a genetic and biological fact. 1:08 WOOLLUMS INTERRUPTION You are not going to censor what I say, ma’am. I’m very sorry. And I appeal to the Chair that I be allowed to continue. Sir?” 1:20 BUFFETT: “YOU MAY CONTINUE BUT UNDER THE THREE-MINUTE LIMITATION.” Of Course. We know how much Bill Gates cares about children. He met and traveled with Jeffrey Epstein many times after Epstein was convicted of sex crimes. The Gates Foundation had a huge influence over the COVID response fiasco. Bill Gates defended China’s COVID policies and still discounts the possibility that the virus originated from a lab, even though U.S. intelligence agencies disagree. The Gates Foundation may be the largest single donor to the “dark money” machine known as Arabella Associates. 1:54 BUFFETT TALKS OVER FLAHERTY (UNINTELLIGLBLE) It funds causes like defunding the police that are making American cities unlivable. Money goes, too, to groups conducting... 2:04 MICROPHONE GOES DEAD NLPC filed a proxy memo in support of its resolution on April 21. NLPC was the filer of a similar proposal for an independent chair last year at Berkshire when Flaherty spoke in support of the resolution without incident. The proposal received support from diverse shareholders including the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS). NLPC sponsors the Corporate Integrity Project and has engaged in shareholder activism since 2004. In 2023, NLPC is the proponent of proposals at 26 companies on a variety of topics. NLPC-filed proposals for an independent chair were also considered this year at Bank of America, Coca-Cola, Goldman-Sachs, Home Depot, Mondelez, PepsiCo, Salesforce, and Visa. Since 2004, Flaherty has spoken at the annual meetings of dozens of companies including Alphabet, Amazon, Bank of America, Boeing, Citigroup, Coca-Cola, Colgate-Palmolive, Goldman Sachs, Merck, Facebook (now Meta), PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble and Walmart. In connection to NLPC proposals, he has met with many corporate executives over the years, including then-PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi and then-GE CEO Jeff Immelt. Founded in 1991, NLPC promotes ethics in public life and government accountability through research, investigation, education, and legal action. Contact Details National Legal and Policy Center Dan Rene +1 202-329-8357 Company Website

May 08, 2023 01:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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Berkshire Hathaway Shareholder to Criticize Warren Buffett and Bill Gates for Politicized Philanthropy

National Legal & Policy Center

National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) is the sponsor of a Berkshire Hathaway shareholder proposal to separate the roles of Chairman and CEO. On April 21, we filed a proxy memo in support of our resolution, explaining why we believe the succession plan is inadequate and that the company should be less identified with Warren Buffett’s politics. Here is the statement NLPC Chairman Peter Flaherty plans to make at the Berkshire annual meeting on Saturday, April 6 in Omaha, Nebraska: I am Peter Flaherty, Chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center. If we had an independent chair, the Company would be less identified with Mr. Buffett’s political activities. He’s donated more than $100 billion to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. As Bill Gates explained when the couple was still together, “ although the foundation bears our names, basically half our resources have come from Warren Buffett.” If “woke” culture is a disease, then philanthropy is the virus. The Gates Foundation bankrolls the teaching of Critical Race Theory around the country, including that math is inherently racist. The Gates Foundation offers a Gender Identity Toolbox, which asserts that gender is the result of “socially and culturally constructed ideas.” This is a lie. Gender is not a cultural construct. It is a genetic and biological fact. We know how much Bill Gates cares about children. He met and traveled with Jeffrey Epstein MANY times AFTER Epstein was convicted of sex crimes. The Gates Foundation had a huge influence over the COVID response fiasco. Bill Gates defended China’s COVID policies and still discounts the possibility that the virus originated from a lab, even though U.S. intelligence agencies disagree. The Gates Foundation may be the largest single donor to the “dark money” machine known as Arabella Associates which funds causes like defunding the police that are making American cities unlivable. Money goes, too, to groups conducting threatening and vulgar protests at their homes of Supreme Court Justices. Mr. Buffett has quietly funneled more than $4 billion to groups supporting abortion on demand through the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation. That’s $4 billion, with a B. Advocacy disguised as philanthropy. Bill Gates has lamented political polarization and even worried aloud about a civil war. But it is billionaires who are funding the most shrill and extreme activists who are tearing our country apart. Ironically, Mr. Buffett has pointed out that corporate executives can make a lot of people mad when they insert themselves into controversy. Anheuser-Busch is finding that out. It cannot renounce its Dylan Mulvaney transgender promotion because it is handcuffed by its longtime support for activists who would turn on them in a minute. Anheuser-Busch gets a perfect grade on the Human Rights Campaign scorecard, as do Berkshire portfolio companies like Coca-Cola, Bank of America, and Apple. Bank of America and Apple help bankroll this group, which wants biological men to compete in women’s sports. Worse, it is currently pressuring state legislatures to allow sex change operations on children, and to keep their parents out of the decision. Let’s revisit Coca-Cola, which I discussed at last year’s meeting. CEO James Quincey, a British citizen, tried to kill Georgia’s voter integrity law in 2021 by making inaccurate and inflammatory statements about it. That’s the law that President Biden called “Jim Crow 2.0,” and which prompted Major League Baseball to move the All-Star game out of Atlanta. Mr. Buffett jumped on the bandwagon, too, by signing a statement by corporate leaders suggesting that Republicans seek to restrict ballot access based on race. Two years later, we can now evaluate that accusation. Last year, an election was held in Georgia. Turnout was record breaking. According to an independent poll, 99% of voters said they had “no problem” casting ballots. 92% said the new law either had no impact on their ability to vote or made it easier. James Quincey was wrong, and Mr. Buffett, so were you. ### To schedule an interview with Peter Flaherty, please contact Dan Rene at or Jackie Jones at Founded in 1991, NLPC promotes ethics in public life and government accountability through research, investigation, education, and legal action. Contact Details National Legal and Policy Center Dan Rene +1 202-329-8357 Company Website

May 05, 2023 01:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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NAVEX Opens Nominations for 2023 Customer Excellence Awards

NAVEX Global

NAVEX, the leader in integrated risk and compliance management software, today announced nominations are now open for the third annual NAVEX Customer Excellence Awards. This prestigious award acknowledges and celebrates the exceptional performance of NAVEX customers’ ethics, compliance and integrated risk management programs. The nomination window will be open until July 12, 2023. Previous Customer Excellence Award winners include Dell Technologies, Castolin Eutectic Holding GmbH, Jacksonville Transportation Authority and Genpact. Interested NAVEX customers can submit their entry today via the NAVEX Customer Excellence Award website. “A robust risk and compliance program is fundamental to creating and maintaining a highly motivated workplace culture,” said Steve Chapman, Chief Customer Officer at NAVEX. “Our annual excellence awards recognize especially strong programs that demonstrate measurable impact on business success. We look forward to seeing all of this year’s nominations.” The Customer Excellence Awards recognize exceptional program performances from NAVEX's 13,000+ customers worldwide, covering 70 million employees, categorized by company size and across three categories. Ethics & Compliance – Recognizes the exceptional ability to identify and mitigate risks, provide meaningful insights into corporate culture and drive risk aware decision-making through E&C programs. Integrated Risk Management – Recognizes the exceptional ability to adapt to specific risk landscapes, bring visibility to risk across the organization and use informed data to influence decisions that ultimately make for a more resilient and successful business. GRC Program of the Year – Recognizes the exceptional ability to break down silos across the business to align ethics and compliance, and/or integrated risk management, resulting in a comprehensive risk and compliance management program that provides efficiency and actionable insights. As in years past, an expert panel of judges will determine the winners, consisting of some of the most respected names in the industry, including Vera Cherepanova, Studio Etica; Matt Kelly, Radical Compliance; Michael Volkov, The Volkov Law Group; Kyle Welch, George Washington School of Business; Carol Williams, Strategic Decision Solutions; along with NAVEX executives Florian Haarhaus, International General Manager; Steve Chapman, Chief Customer Officer; and Carrie Penman, Chief Risk & Compliance Officer. NAVEX is trusted by thousands of customers worldwide to help them achieve the business outcomes that matter most. As the global leader in integrated risk and compliance management software and services, we deliver solutions through the NAVEX One platform, the industry’s most comprehensive governance, risk and compliance (GRC) information system. For more information, visit and our blog. Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn. Contact Details Scott Levesque +1 617-388-5773 Company Website

May 03, 2023 08:30 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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The National Anti-Corruption Commission in Thailand (NACC) noted Private sector must have clear details of bribery-prone activities

Integrity Way

BANGKOK THAILAND - Media OutReach - 28 April 2023 - The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) encourages the private sector not to offer bribes to government officers and advises them to impose internal measures to control bribery risks. NACC Secretary-General Niwatchai Kasemmongkol said bribery was a national problem and there were cases in which bribes were offered for business benefits across borders, affecting the country's credibility and efficiency of budgetary spending. The NACC, therefore, promoted good governance in the public sector to create the "No Gift" culture, he said. NACC has set up Anti-Bribery Advisory Service (ABAS) Center to provide knowledge and guidelines to the private sector concerning the laws on offering bribes to government officials and to have appropriate measures to prevent bribery. This will lead business to be transparent operations with good governance and sustainable growth. In addition, NACC also has rules for prosecuting private sector firms involved in bribing government officials and those working in international agencies. The rules have been issued to make private sector firms aware that they could be prosecuted if they are involved in corruption. Mr. Niwatchai stated further that bribery should be prevented at both ends – the private sector or the bribe giver and government officers or the bribe taker. Those who offered bribe to government officers were subject to penalty under Section 176 of the Anti-Corruption Act B.E. 2561. Juristic persons who bribed government officers would face large fines, said the Secretary-General. The NACC encourages juristic persons susceptible to public bribery to clearly identify their expenses for government agencies and impose measures to inspect these expenses. According to the NACC Act, the value of the gift given to government officers must not exceed 3,000 baht. The Secretary-General warned that juristic persons or businesses should not pay commissions to government officers for whatever reason to avoid risking breaking anti-bribery laws. The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) is a constitutional independent organization and supervised by nine commissioners selected from various professions. It is authorised to undertake work on the prevention and suppression of malfeasance, particularly in government agencies, on assets investigations, as well as on the monitoring of ethics and virtues of political position holders. It has the authority to file charges in court as well as support and build up awareness of the penalties for committing corruption. The NACC is supervised by the NACC Board and has the Office of the NACC as its administrative agency. Since 1997, Thai Courts have ruled against and punished politicians, former ministers, high-ranking government officials as well as executives of the private sector in the thousands of cases submitted by the NACC. Contact Details Media Contact The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC)

April 28, 2023 11:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Shareholder to Urge Warren Buffett to Relinquish Some Power at Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting

National Legal & Policy Center

Ahead of the annual meeting for Berkshire Hathaway Inc. on May 6 in Omaha, National Legal and Policy Center is sponsoring a shareholder proposal and will again call for a separation of powers between the Chairman and CEO – with both roles presently held by legendary nonagenarian investor Warren Buffett – to proceed on what the company says is inevitable, and to smooth the oncoming leadership transition. NLPC presented a similar proposal at last year’s meeting, where the organization’s Chairman, Peter Flaherty, said in a speech that since Mr. Buffett is “the face of capitalism, why don’t you do something to save it?” Flaherty will again present this year’s proposal, and plans to address the company’s flawed reasoning for delaying the preordained outcome. NLPC filed a proxy memorandum with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday, which explains why the transition from Mr. Buffett’s concentrated leadership and power should start now instead of waiting until he leaves. The Berkshire Hathaway board of directors oppose NLPC’s proposal in the company’s proxy statement, but state that “once Mr. Buffett is no longer Berkshire’s CEO, a non-management director should be named Board Chair.” “Warren Buffett turns 93 this year and his top advisor, Charlie Munger, is 99 years old,” said Flaherty. “We are not ageists, but Berkshire Hathaway has already designated who the next CEO and likely Chairman will be, so what are they waiting for?” Berkshire Hathaway has identified Gregory Abel, Chairman and CEO of subsidiary Berkshire Hathaway Energy Company, as Mr. Buffett’s future successor as CEO. NLPC argues in its report to the SEC that the company’s identity is inextricably linked with Mr. Buffett’s, and if there is not an immediate transition or “handoff” to the next generation of leadership, it will only be more difficult for Berkshire Hathaway to shift from its personality-driven image to a performance-based one. Also, NLPC calls into question Mr. Buffett’s reticence to provide guidance to CEOs of companies in Berkshire Hathaway’s portfolio, such as American Express, Apple, and Coca-Cola. All three companies have suffered a backlash over their involvement in divisive political issues, a practice the celebrated investor has warned against in the past. NLPC argues that Mr. Buffett’s influence could improve the performance of the companies owned by Berkshire Hathaway. “Warren Buffett clearly still has his mental faculties and his acumen,” Flaherty added, “but Berkshire Hathaway’s loyal investors need to see how the succession plan will work for the long-term interests of the company. He has been different from every other Chairman and CEO in history, he needs to recognize that, and he should give his successor Greg Abel a running start for the future.” Founded in 1991, NLPC promotes ethics in public life and government accountability through research, investigation, education, and legal action. ### For more information or to schedule an interview with Paul Chesser, contact Dan Rene at 202-329-8357 or Please visit Contact Details National Legal and Policy Center Dan Rene +1 202-329-8357 Company Website

April 24, 2023 12:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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The Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce (JFCCT) works closely with the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) to continued support its anti-corruption efforts

The Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce in Thailand (JFCCT)

BANGKOK THAILAND - Media OutReach - 24 April 2023 - Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce (JFCCT) advocates for zero tolerance, and works closely with the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC), Anti-Corruption Organization of Thailand (ACT) and Thai Collective Action Against Corruption ( CAC) to support anti-corruption in Thailand. In 2017, JFCCT hold a seminar to Exchange Information on Corruption Prevention and Corruption Suppression with NACC and have formally met annually to share experience and learning. The Conclusions from that seminar, JFCCT reported that in just about all cases, corrupt practices always takes at least two parties. Private sector need to continue to do our part to reduce corruption. So JFCCT continue to: Make members aware of the various effects of corruption, and move away from the view that some corruption is OK as long as the economy continues to do well, or that someone may 'miss out' if they do not engage. Engage in meaningful and not just token ways in anti – corruption organisations. Take responsibility to achieve outcomes. Bring to members' attention legal and policy changes Provide recommendations on measures to reduce corruption. We are developing an anti–corruption Code of Conduct. However, JFCCT is not an enforcement body but we can (and do) aim to make an impact. For example promoting the Rule of Law and really understanding what it means is one way to support respect for the laws in force in Thailand. In addition, on 9th December 2022, JFCCT Chairwoman, Vibeke Lyssand Leirvag meet the NACC, alongside Prime Minister General Prayut, Pol. Gen. Watcharapol Prasarnrajkit President of the NACC and others related organization on the occasion of the Zero Tolerance "Ending Corruption: Key to Boosting Investment in Thailand" Leirvag was pleased to share the arguments from JFCCT on the negative effect corruption caused to Thailand and its competitiveness for both existing and new investment, as well as sharing a series of concrete recommendations for the government and private sector to work together to improve the ease of doing business. These steps included improved protection for whistle-blowers and witnesses, better education, stronger investigative powers as well as courts more empowered to enforce stronger penalties. "JFCCT try to share the relevant toolkits with our members and guide them as best we can, so that they embrace the information," Leirvag said. In an recent exclusive interview, Ms Leirvåg presented her point of view and suggestions about ways to anti-corruption. Of primary importance is doing away with the mindset that 'a little corruption is acceptable' Leirvåg suggested. Nowadays, Thailand has a long and difficult journey ahead to fight corruption. This will require the participation of all parties, the government, academia, the public and the private sectors, said Leirvåg. The current Thai government has worked to improve the issue of corruption, but the situation needs to be addressed more, and much remains to be done, said Leirvåg in an exclusive interview. Ms Leirvåg added that Thailand could do much better and it was time for the government and the political establishment to walk the talk, not only talk. "We also need to set goals and work as a team towards real and effective zero tolerance for corruption." According to Leirvåg, it is the general mindset that needs to be changed; without the change it will be impossible to increase transparency and rid the country of graft. "That mindset needs to change. There should be zero tolerance for corruption if we are serious in moving ahead." While public surveys have been held, many have answered that fighting corruption is impossible and therefore some grey zones are acceptable, also that a little corruption is OK as long as the wheels of business keep turning. Thailand's Corruption Perception Index (CPI) in the 2022 Report improved by nine places to 101st out of 180 countries and the overall score also improved from 35 to 36 out of 100. The CPI had been on a slide from 99th in 2019 through to 110th in 2021. Early education is key One of the points Ms Leirvåg raised is the fact that children are not taught from an early age that corruption is wrong. She believes that malfeasance can be stopped if people are educated starting in kindergarten. Ms Leirvåg hails from Norway where children are taught at an early age that stealing and telling lies are wrong. Norway ranked fourth and scored 84 out of 100 in the 2022 CPI report. Children look up to grownups as role models, but when role models don't play their role right, the educational system must step in and point the way. Ms Leirvåg is managing director and founder of Felicia Design, a high-end jewellery manufacturer in Thailand and has lived in the Kingdom since 1989. She was elected chairperson of JFCCT last year, becoming the first woman to hold the position. Asked to compare the difficulties of doing business in Thailand with other countries, Ms Leirvåg said she did not think doing business in Thailand was more difficult than elsewhere overall, as all countries have positive and less positive sides. Thailand still has a lot going in a positive direction and by working together it is possible to tackle challenges like corruption. The Thai premier made a commitment on International Anti-Corruption Day last December that Thailand would work towards zero tolerance for corruption. "The work towards zero tolerance has to be a joint effort by all parties. We have to work together to tackle graft problems instead of pointing fingers at each other or other stakeholders. Ms. Leirvåg encouraged success stories to be shared, not only wrongdoings. Stopping corruption is a gradual process but it must start now Rome was not built in one day, Ms Leirvåg said, "this is a journey and the journey needs to start at the top, meaning that the government must show serious willingness to fight malfeasance. It is impossible to expect Thailand to go from the current situation to the situation of a country being perceived as least corrupt. For many countries, including her native country Norway, this was a journey that took a century or more." The government needs to "walk the talk and not only talk." In the past, governments have focused their efforts on establishing policies, but now it is time to take action and implement what they have promised. The premier has promised to work towards zero tolerance but dealing with corruption is a task for everyone including politicians from all parties as well as government officials, and of course, the private sector, Ms Leirvåg said. A general election is to be held soon and a new government will take office, she recommended that everyone joins together to set expectations up front, so that changes and serious goals to fight corruption, which would also improve the corruption perception ranking. "We must accept that corruption exists, we must deal with wrongdoings and together find preventive solutions as well as educate and communicate the evils of corruption.", Ms Leirvåg said. "All firms, big and small, Thai and foreign, public and private, should be working together to tackle corruption. Efforts should go hand-in-hand with government initiatives to stamp out corruption." Willingness to pay, means willingness to collect With bribery, we usually point the finger at each other. "We say that it is the government, the firms and the public sector that made us pay tea money. However, if you pay the tea money, things will never change. It's teamwork; you are willing to pay, so they are willing to collect. It will definitely be embedded deeper in the Thai culture and society. So if you stop paying bribes, they will stop taking them. She also praised the new Anti-Corruption Law that criminalizes bribe-giving by legal entities and can make senior executives accountable under the new law, legal entities—including corporations—can be criminally liable for bribes paid to state officials, Thai and foreign, and officials working with intergovernmental organizations. "However, all stakeholders need to be made aware of the laws" Ms Leirvåg said, adding that the foreign business community in Thailand has a role to play in informing and training their staff in anti-corruption work including understanding of the legislation. Experiences with "tea money" Throughout her years of doing business in Thailand, she has been involved many situations where paying "tea money" would speed up her company's applications especially on permits and licenses. However, Ms Leirvåg has steadfastly refused to bow to pressure and to pay bribes for her firm to obtain what it wanted. "I have had somebody telling me that if I paid under the table or gave him the money, he could speed up the process. I said no, I can wait." Saying no to bribery resulted in her firm's applications taking longer time to process, but she is happy to wait. Understanding that her company would not agree to pay bribes, officials stopped asking. Many foreign companies have complained that some rules and regulations which delay or create administrative burdens to their business could be potential risks of corruption. This includes rules and regulations that give authority to the official to use their own judgement to process the request from companies. She suggested that processes should as much as possible be fully digitalized as digitalization is one way to reduce corruption. In Thailand, anti-corruption regulations and laws have been issued and are in place, but laws are not enforced, sometimes out of ignorance. The assumption is that paying a bribe can resolve the issue. It is important to emphasize the principle of rule of law and how to enforce the law effectively. Organizations like the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) has prepared policies and guidelines including for example about implementing internal controls (an essential aspect of a company potentially avoiding criminal responsibility where the company leaders did not know about a corrupt act and had put in place procedures to prevent it, Thai Collective Action Against Corruption (CAC) also has training clinics, and recently, OECD launched a tool kit for SMEs The Anti Corruption Network (ACN) also has measures. These tools must be better communicated to both the public and agencies, with training and implementation. Most are available in English and other languages but if there is no communication about their existence, they are as good as useless, Ms Leirvåg said. Asked about the role of whistleblowers, Ms Leirvåg said that this was a major challenge as most do not feel they are protected and feel pressure to be silent instead of reporting the wrongdoing. The government has to do more to protect those who report wrongdoing, she said, as well as having witness protection schemes. The future workforce should be educated about zero tolerance for corruption. They should also be ensured that they will be protected if they decided to become whistleblowers. When they work in a business and they see malfeasance, only then will they feel safe enough to report it. The Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce in Thailand (JFCCT) The Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce in Thailand (JFCCT) is the umbrella body for various Thai- foreign chambers or business associations operating in Thailand. It was back in 1976 that the entire foreign community of business people joined in an idea where the American Chamber invited members of the British, French, German and Japanese chambers to attend a meeting with the Prime Minister. A foreign business organization which came to be known as the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce in Thailand (JFCCT) was formed.We work with the Royal Thai government and various government agencies such as the Board of Trade, Board of Investment and the Federation of Thai Industries and many sector-specific agencies, and by way of advice and recommendation to foreign governments – for the benefit of the Thai economy. Contact Details The Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce in Thailand (JFCCT) Media Contact +66 2 018 6995

April 24, 2023 11:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Freelance Creative Jobs Thrive Despite AI Surge


New data released today by (ASX: FLN) (OTCQX: FLNCF), the world’s largest freelancing marketplace by number of users and jobs posted, shows an incoming startup boom amongst an unprecedented surge in freelance creative design and AI job growth. The Fast 50 Q1 2023 Index, the world’s largest forward indicator of freelance job trends, analyzes over 304,000 jobs posted to between January and March 2023. The index finds that jobs for T-Shirt Design (up 33.1%, from 1,403 to 1,868), Covers & Packaging Design (up 27.3%, from 1,128 to 1,436), and Corporate Identity Design (up 24.2%, from 2,474 to 3,073) were the three fastest growing job types by total percentage growth when compared to Q4 2022. These were followed by Product Design (up 22.9%, 1,214 to 1,493) and 3D Design (up 22%, from 5,027 to 6,135) jobs. Design skills with the largest job counts on the platform also grew significantly this quarter. There were a whopping 7,495 extra Graphic Design jobs in Q1 (up 12.1%, from 61,709 to 69,204), followed by an additional 6,731 Logo Design jobs (up 20.4%, from 32,963 to 39,694) and 5,902 extra jobs requiring skills in Photoshop (up 15.4%, from 38,224 to 44,126). Design is both the most in-demand and the highest paying skill on, as found in the Freelancing in 2022 Report. These types of jobs, particularly logo design, packaging design and t-shirt creation, are typically the starting point for many founders launching a new business. The sudden influx of design, eCommerce and marketing jobs are a key indicator of a boom in startups. Simultaneously, jobs requiring skills in Artificial Intelligence were the seventh fastest growing skill on (up 20.62% in Q1 2023 from 1,038 to 1,252). Jobs demanding Generative AI skills, such as ChatGPT, Dall-E, Midjourney and Chatbots, grew by more than 325% from 286 in Q4 2022 to 1,216 in Q1 2023. “While many speculate whether AI will take design jobs, our latest data shows that this is certainly not the case. Design jobs are the most popular job type on the platform and continue to grow despite advances in hyper-realistic generative AI tools,” said Matt Barrie, Chief Executive at “What’s more interesting in this data is zooming out and looking at the main trend: the startup boom. The most in-demand jobs on the platform for this quarter are all related to the launch of new businesses. New logo, website and branding jobs. In fact, there were 75 extra logo design jobs posted each day last quarter, which could suggest the launch of 75 new businesses.” The data also shows an increase in Digital Marketing (up 12.8%, from 1,524 to 1,720) and Videography (up 14.2%, from 2,716 to 3,102) jobs which also suggests businesses are focusing more on their online marketing and content creation strategies to amplify their brands. Fastest Falling Jobs of Q1 2023 While design jobs dominated the fastest growing, the jobs that were in less demand in this quarter are related to tech, development and writing. Software Development, which was ranked as the fastest growing job in Q2 2022, began to decline this quarter and was down by 34.4% (from 2,001 to 1,311). Similarly, programming related jobs which were one of the fastest growing skills in Q4 2022 also declined this quarter by 20.9% (from 5,899 to 4,665). Demand for these types of jobs surged last year as many tech employees were laid off globally. However, the new data suggests demand is beginning to stabilize and return to pre-mass layoffs levels. Seasonality also plays into employers moving away from specific types of jobs quarter-to-quarter. Report Writing, Technical Writing, Research Writing and Business Plans were ranked as the fastest growing jobs in Q4 2022 as many employers traditionally turn to freelance support to help prepare end of year reports and 2023 plans. These types of jobs naturally reduce in the first quarter of the year. Fast 50 Q1 2023 - Data Analysis Startup Boom Fuels Creative Design Job Growth Historically, more businesses are started during a recession. Economic downturns have led to the creation of some of the world’s most well known brands, such as Microsoft, Uber and Burger King, just to name a few. Only a few years ago, the world witnessed this trend playing out as COVID sparked a startup boom, which saw a 24 percent increase in new business applications in the United States alone. According to the latest US Census Business Formation Statistics, the number of new business applications is beginning to grow in 2023 by an increase of 451,752, an increase of 4.5 percent compared to February 2023. Data from the latest Freelancer Fast 50 Index suggests there’s a sudden increase in the number of new businesses and startups being launched globally. The fastest growing skills, such as T-Shirt, Covers & Packaging, and Corporate Identity Design, as well as the growth of major jobs such as Logo Design, are all usually posted by founders at the starting point for a new business or venture. T-Shirt Design jobs, as an example, are growing as people hire freelancers to create t-shirts with their business logo as a way of promoting a brand or creating business uniforms. An uptick in Covers and Packaging Design jobs are the result of businesses turning to freelancers for new product labels and marketing brochures. Growth in website building jobs, such as Shopify (up 20.5%, from 2,302 to 2,775), Shopify Templates (up 16.1%, from 1,392 to 1,617) and eCommerce (up 15.5%, from 4,212 to 4,866), also support the rise of new businesses last quarter. Almost three quarters of the fastest growing jobs (72%) posted on in the last quarter required skills in creative design or marketing. Serial entrepreneur Davuud Ghani, who recently founded Pivitt, a creative and branding support agency based in the United Kingdom, is just one example of how founders are turning to freelancers to support the growth of their business in 2023. “As a start-up, agility is our advantage over mature businesses with similar service offerings. It’s becoming easier for businesses to locate and leverage global talent, with platforms such as We are able to really finetune the skills needed on a project basis to drive excellence through our service offering to our partners, keeping us competitive in the market. That’s what our model is built from and has allowed us to secure partnerships with the likes of BMW & MINI,” said Davuud Ghani, founder of Pivitt. Generative AI Jobs Triple In Last Quarter Advancements in artificial intelligent and generative AI are impacting almost every faucet of business and creativity. Powerful AI tools, such as ChatGPT, Dall-E and Midjourney, are becoming smarter and more sophisticated by month, resulting in rapid leaps in capabilities and applications. In the first quarter of 2023, Open AI released GPT-4, introducing a more powerful and intelligent version of the application which could exhibit human level performance on several benchmarks. In the AI image generation space, research lab Midjourney also released the alpha iteration of its 5th version which allowed users to create photorealistic generations. Growing interest for AI is represented clearly in the Fast 50 Q1 2023 data which ranks jobs for Artificial Intelligence as the seventh fastest growing job on the platform, growing by 20.6% up to 1,252 jobs in total. Many projects posted in the first quarter aim to harness AI text generators or automate mass image generation, while some look for freelance experts who can help create their own AI models and applications. Generative AI skills (ChatGPT, Dall-E, Midjourney, Chatbots) grew the fastest over the quarter, recording a total percentage increase of 325% from 286 last quarter to 1,216 in Q1 2023. In total, there were 5,262 jobs requiring skills in AI, Machine Learning, Deep Learning, TensorFlow, ChatGPT and Dall-E. Digital Marketing & Content Creation Popularity of content marketing is growing amongst businesses. Major success stories, such as Netflix’s Drive to Survive series or Spotify’s Wrapped, are pushing businesses and marketers towards incorporating content marketing within their strategies. It’s a trend that was identified in the Fast 50 Q3 2022 Index and is continuing in Q1 2023. Videography (up 14.21%, from to 3,102), Digital Marketing (up 12.86% to 1,720), YouTube (up 11.30% to 1,576), and Video Production (up 10.25% to 5,401) were all in-demand skills last quarter. This finding suggests that businesses are increasingly focusing on online marketing and content creation strategies to reach their target audiences. While YouTube remains as the main platform people are turning to freelancers for support, employer interest in TikTok video creation is also growing, increasing by 25% in Q1 2023, from 405 projects in Q4 2022 to 507 total jobs Q1 2023. Product Design Jobs Apart from design projects specific to branding and new business ventures, the number of 3D Design, Product Design and general Design collectively grew over Q1 2023. ##### Freelancer Fast 50 The Freelancer Fast 50 index is the world’s largest forward indicator of trends in online jobs related to industries, technologies, products, and companies. The data is based on 304,000 jobs posted to the Freelancer platform between January 1 to March 31 2023. Fast 50 Quarterly Index – Q1 2023 About Freelancer is the world's largest freelancing and crowdsourcing marketplace by total number of users and projects posted. More than 64 million registered users have posted over 22.3 million projects and contests to date in over 2,000 areas as diverse as website development, logo design, marketing, copywriting, aerospace engineering and manufacturing. Freelancer also owns and Loadshift. Freelancer Limited is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange under the ticker ASX:FLN and is quoted on OTCQX Best Market under the ticker FLNCF. Contact Details Marko Zitko +61 404 574 830

April 21, 2023 08:15 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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