Yangon, Myanmar, August 6, 2016—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, and the Myanmar Institute of Directors
(MIoD) have organized a series of training and events to help Myanmar companies
improve financial governance and reporting, adopt other effective governance
practices, and boost gender diversity on boards, with the new Myanmar Companies
Law now in effect.
The new law, which came into effect
on August 1, sets more stringent director duties and other corporate governance
requirements while relaxing foreign ownership in Myanmar companies, with
the aim of leveling the playing field for international investors. More
than 40 Myanmar directors and executives attended two workshops on July
30 and August 1, which were part of MIoD’s Learning Series to provide
quality board training and raise market awareness about important governance
The workshops provided a deep dive into
the fundamentals of the corporate governance framework to help directors
and executives develop a plan for implementing effective governance practices
within their companies. They also aimed to sharpen participants’ financial
governance skills to mitigate risks and allowed board members and senior
executives to share their experiences.
“These workshops help address the growing
needs of Myanmar companies for corporate governance training as they brace
for changes under the new Companies Law,” said U Aung Zaw Naing, MIoD
Board Chairman and Group CEO of Shwe Taung. “Helping company executives
gain a deeper understanding of key financial issues will enable them to
spot red flags and further strengthen risk management, while the Corporate
Governance Action Planning Workshop was a great opportunity for them to
develop a roadmap for effective governance.”
The workshops were part of IFC and MIoD’s
two-year cooperation agreement. On August 2, IFC organized a train-the-trainer
workshop to boost the capacity of MIoD’s cadre of corporate governance
trainers who will in turn train more Myanmar directors and executives.
Under the agreement, IFC will also help MIoD develop and deliver corporate
governance training, seminars, conferences, and publications.
A recent IFC study revealed that companies
with top corporate governance scores enjoyed lower credit risks and their
return-on-equity was almost three times higher than that of companies with
the lowest governance scores. Numerous studies have shown that good corporate
governance has a positive impact on firm performance and access to finance.
Investors were willing to pay a premium of up to 40 percent for well-governed
companies, according to a 2001 study by management consultancy McKinsey.
“Myanmar corporates urgently need to
strengthen their corporate governance practices to bring themselves in
line with their regional peers and attract foreign capital,” said Vikram
Kumar, IFC Country Manager for Myanmar and Thailand. “To achieve this,
IFC is keen to work with MIoD in developing top-quality trainers as well
as corporate governance training programs for Myanmar directors and executives.
These workshops are an exciting first step.”
Around the world, improving gender diversity
on boards has been gaining prominence as studies show that boards with
both men and women are better at generating new ideas, verifying the integrity
of audit information, and ensuring rule compliance to avoid conflicts of
To raise awareness of this global trend,
MIoD and the Women Corporate Directors Myanmar Chapter jointly organized
a July 31 interactive workshop and an August 3 lunch event on the topic
of women on boards and business leadership, which attracted over 50 participants.
They discussed the gender gap in their organizations and learned tools
and techniques to catalyze change.
“Myanmar companies can certainly benefit
from having more women on boards, which have been proven to improve company
financial performance and risk management,” said Ma Cherry Trivedi, Co-chair
of the Women Corporate Directors Myanmar Chapter.
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World
Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the
private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses
worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets
and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In fiscal year 2018,
we delivered more than $23 billion in long-term financing for developing
countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty
and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org
About the Myanmar Institute of Directors
Established in March 2018, the Myanmar
Institute of Directors (MIoD) is an independent organization promoting
corporate governance standards and best practices in Myanmar. It aims to
advance board professionalism, promote business ethics and transparency,
create networks between corporate leaders and stakeholders, and boost investor
confidence in Myanmar’s capital markets. The institute’s activities include
providing board and corporate governance training, helping raise awareness
on governance topics, and advocating for market reforms. MIoD was formed
with support from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a sister
organization of the World Bank and a member of the World Bank Group, and
the governments of Australia and the United Kingdom. For more information,
About Women Corporate Directors
Women Corporate Directors (WCD) is the
world’s largest membership organization and community of women corporate
board directors who serve on more than 8,500 public and private boards
around the world. WCD inspires and educates board leaders and raises the
bar for board service in public, large private companies, and family businesses
globally. Over the past 17 years, WCD has been instrumental in training
women for board service, providing board opportunities, and facilitating
introductions to nominating committee chairs around the world.