ASEAN Conference Tackles Challenges of Improving ASEAN Corporate Governance

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The ASEAN Capital Markets Forum takes a step further in spreading awareness of corporate governance through a conference themed "Governance Transformation in ASEAN: Reform and Priorities," in the Philippines. Institutions and organizations will come together at the ASEAN Corporate Governance Conference and Awards to mark the beginning of this corporate transformation.

"Good governance is doing things right, and this makes a company attractive to investments."

It is well accepted that corporate governance adds value to a business as it builds trust among its stakeholders including stockholders, investors, creditors, employees, customers, and suppliers. The challenge is how to implement internationally accepted best practices of corporate governance within developing capital markets in the ASEAN region.

The conference entitled “Governance Transformation in ASEAN: Reform and Priorities”, to be held at the Asian Development Bank on Saturday, November 14, 2015 seeks to address these issues. Later in the day, the top performing publicly-listed corporations in the region based on the ASEAN Corporate Governance Scorecard will be recognized during the first ASEAN Corporate Governance Awards.

The conference and awards are being organized by the ASEAN Capital Markets Forum (ACMF) and hosted by the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission, with the support of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the IFC (a member of the World Bank Group) and the Philippine Stock Exchange. The Institute of Corporate Directors is the Secretariat for the event.

“These institutions want to inspire more companies to implement good corporate governance because it is beneficial to the company and its stakeholders. Good governance is doing things right, and this makes a company attractive to investments,” says Securities and Exchange Commission Chairperson Teresita J. Herbosa, one of the two speakers from government at the conference.

The keynote address will be delivered by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr.

“The ADB’s long standing partnership with the ACMF has reaped many fruitful outcomes, and the ASEAN Corporate Governance Scorecard (ACGS) culminating in the conference and award today, is one of the clearest demonstrations of this successful partnership. Through ACGS, countries in Southeast Asia are not only benchmarking their corporate governance frameworks based on international best practices, they are also playing a meaningful role and contributing to the establishment of international norms and best practices,” says Mohd Sani Ismail, ADB’s project leader for ACGS.

“IFC has been working with the private sector in promoting corporate governance throughout ASEAN. In the Philippines, IFC is working with the Institute of Corporate Directors to help Philippine companies implement good corporate governance practices that will allow them to build sustainable businesses which in turn will drive growth and development in the country,” says Yuan (Jane) Xu, IFC Philippines country manager.

Distinguished speakers include Pru Bennett, head of BlackRock’s Corporate Governance and Responsible Investment team for the Asia Pacific Region. A highlight of the conference will be Panel Discussions among ASEAN Capital Markets Forum Regulators to be moderated by Mohd Sani Ismail of the ADB, and among ASEAN Directors and CEOs moderated by Xu.

At the close of the conference, Chairperson Herbosa will launch the Corporate Governance Blueprint of the Philippines, a document which will chart the course of improvements in the country’s corporate governance framework over the medium-term.

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Florence Joy dela Cruz
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