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IFC and Azerbaijan Develop Corporate Governance Code to Help Companies Improve Competitiveness


In Washington, D.C.
Min Li
Phone: +202 4587509

E-mail:
mli2@ifc.org

Hassan El-Shabrawishi
Eurasia Project Officer
E-mail:
Helshabrawishi@ifc.org

In Baku, Azerbaijan
Rasmina Gurbatova

Phone: +99412 497 89 81
E-mail:
RGurbatova@ifc.org


Baku, Azerbaijan, January 14, 2009—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is working with the Azerbaijani government to develop a corporate governance code that will help improve the country’s business environment, enhance transparency of local companies, and increase their competitiveness in local and international markets.

In partnership with the Azerbaijani government and the United States Agency for International Development, IFC is organizing a conference to initiate private-public dialog on developing the new code. Today, the event is bringing together up to 200 representatives of the private sector, government, and academia to discuss and share experiences on developing codes in other countries. The conference will obtain valuable feedback from various stakeholders to help guide the process in Azerbaijan.


“A national corporate governance code will help address the most evident governance challenges facing Azerbaijani companies,” said Mikayil Jabbarov, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of Azerbaijan Republic. “It will also boost their confidence and competitiveness, making them more attractive to investors.”


The conference will be followed by a two-day workshop where local and international experts discuss issues related to developing corporate governance codes and implementation methods. The primary goal is to develop the action plan for implementing a new code for Azerbaijan. This initiative is led by the IFC Global Corporate Governance Forum and IFC Corporate Governance Project.


Phil Armstrong, Head of the IFC Global Corporate Governance Forum, said, “Adopting a corporate governance code is essential for Azerbaijan. It will help raise standards and drive reforms efforts while serving as a benchmark for monitoring and implementing better practices and policies at the corporate level.”  


In 2005, IFC launched the Corporate Governance Project to improve practices at Azerbaijani joint-stock companies and banks, helping them enhance operations and increase their ability to attract financing and investment. To date, the project has trained more than 350 joint-stock companies and banks and enabled clients to attract about $18 million in investments due to improved practices. It also helped the government develop four pieces of legislation, which have been adopted, and developed a model course that was adopted by five local universities. The project is supported with funds from the government of Switzerland.


About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $16.2 billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year. For more information, visit
www.ifc.org.

About the IFC Global Corporate Governance Forum

The IFC Global Corporate Governance Forum is an IFC multidonor trust fund facility, cofounded by the World Bank and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development in 1999. The forum aims to promote the private sector as an engine of growth, reduce the vulnerability of developing and transition economies to financial crisis, and provide incentives for corporations to invest and perform efficiently in a socially responsible manner. It sponsors regional and local initiatives that address the corporate governance weaknesses of middle- and low-income countries in the context of broader national or regional economic reform programs. Donors include IFC and the governments of Canada, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland. For more information, visit
www.gcgf.org.