IFC, NBC, SECC Launch Cambodia Corporate Governance Initiative

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC), and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Cambodia (SECC) launched yesterday the Cambodia Corporate Governance Initiative (CCGI) to jointly promote good corporate governance standards and practices in the country, said a media release dated Mar. 14.

Enhanced corporate governance will improve the efficiency of the private sector and strengthen overall business climate, enabling more foreign investment and job creation, it added.

The CCGI, initiated by IFC, is a working group that will collaborate and coordinate stakeholder efforts to improve capacity and enhance corporate governance by implementing international best practices, it pointed out.

"We strongly believe leveraging stakeholder expertise and resources will effectively bring Cambodia's corporate governance practices closer to international standards," said SECC Director General H.E. Sou Socheat. "We encourage all market stakeholders to participate in this initiative and contribute to the healthy and sustainable development of Cambodia's capital markets."

The initiative will focus on raising awareness and sharing knowledge on corporate governance issues by delivering training programmes, disseminating best practice materials, and building capacity of local trainers. The working group will support regulatory bodies to improve corporate governance-related regulations and standards, as well as provide direct assistance to companies to raise their governance quality.

"Corporate governance standards and practices are critical to increasing competitiveness and improving performance of the corporate sector and the whole economy," said NBC Director General Rath Sovannorak. "For the banking sector specifically, improved corporate governance will help better manage risk and enhance internal control, ensuring sustainable growth for the sector."

IFC and SECC have completed a country diagnostic, which is an analysis of Cambodia's corporate governance legal framework applicable to large and listed corporations. Findings and recommendations will help market regulators bring the corporate governance regulatory framework on par with regional peers.

"CCGI is a move toward a stronger business landscape as it will help introduce good corporate governance practices to Cambodia's emerging private sector," said Kyle Kelhofer, IFC Country Manager for Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Vietnam. "Cambodian companies with good corporate governance are better positioned to attract external financing, increase profitability, and hire and maintain a quality workforce."

According to the media release, IFC's Corporate Governance programme in East Asia and the Pacific is funded by Switzerland's State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press