Islamabad and Cairo, August 19, 2005—The
Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan and the International Finance
Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, today signed
a Memorandum of Understanding today in Islamabad to promote and support
corporate governance reforms in Pakistan.
Dr. Tariq Hassan, Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission of
Pakistan, said, “This is the first project to tackle corporate governance
reforms on a comprehensive basis in our country. The project sets out to
strengthen current practices of financial institutions and corporations.
It will also advise the public sector on how to improve upon the
legal and regulatory framework for corporate governance and will build
institutional capacity for developing corporate governance curricula and
training.” He added that the project would help the Pakistan Institute
of Corporate Governance become a leading provider of knowledge and awareness
related to corporate governance practices in the country.
“What makes this joint initiative so unique,” added Michael Essex, IFC’s
Acting Director for the Middle East and North Africa, “is that it will
attempt to turn a short-term technical assistance project into a sustainable
structure that can provide quality corporate governance services. It
will do so by working both with and through the recently established Pakistan
Institute of Corporate Governance.”
joint initiative is a business project, with clearly defined goals, objectives,
and activities that are to be laid out in a detailed business plan” said
Jesper Kjaer, General Manager of IFC’s Private Enterprise Partnership
for the Middle East and North Africa (PEP-MENA). He added, “All future
services are to be based on internationally recognized best practices,
yet tailored to Pakistan’s emerging market environment, focusing on key
corporate governance issues that are relevant to family-owned structures.
These include building professional boards, implementing internal
control systems, facilitating succession planning, and ensuring information
disclosure for minority, outside shareholders."
- The initiative announced today, the Pakistan
Corporate Governance Project, is fully funded by IFC and proposes to support
the Pakistan Institute of Corporate Governance in five key areas:
- Setting up training and certificate programs
on corporate governance for company directors, managers, and secretaries;
- Building capacity for research and development
to conduct surveys, issue publications, and produce best practice manuals;
- Developing and providing consulting and advisory
services on corporate governance to Pakistan’s banks and corporations;
- Raising awareness of corporate governance
practices via conferences, seminars, and roundtables;
- Providing policy advice to the government
on legal and regulatory reforms relating to corporate governance.
PEP-MENA is IFC’s technical assistance facility that supports private
sector development in the Middle East and North Africa. PEP-MENA focuses
on improving the business enabling and regulatory environment in the region;
strengthening the financial sector; promoting the growth of small and medium
enterprises and their support services, such as business organizations
and consulting firms; helping restructure and privatize state-owned enterprises;
and developing viable private sector and public-private partnership projects,
especially in infrastructure.
The mission of IFC (www.ifc.org)
is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries,
helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. IFC finances private
sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international
financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability,
and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.
From its founding in 1956 through FY04, IFC has committed more than $44
billion of its own funds and arranged $23 billion in syndications for 3,143
companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio
as of FY04 was $17.9 billion for its own account and $5.5 billion held
for participants in loan syndications.
The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (www.secp.gov.pk)
is the apex regulator of the corporate sector, capital market,
and nonbank financial sector in Pakistan. The Commission introduced the
Code of Corporate Governance in Pakistan through the listing regulations
of the stock exchanges and has been actively involved in promoting awareness
and implementation of good corporate governance. It played a lead role
in establishing a dedicated institute on corporate governance, the Pakistan
Institute of Corporate Governance, as a public-private partnership that
provides an enabling environment for effective implementation of the Code
of Corporate Governance.
The Pakistan Institute of Corporate Governance is a not-for-profit
company set up under Section 42 of the Companies Ordinance, 1984. It aims
to undertake activities that help achieve good corporate governance in
Pakistan and to create an enabling environment for effective implementation
of the Code of Corporate Governance. The Institute’s initial sponsors
comprise a balanced representation of all major stakeholders from the country’s
public and private sectors. The founding members have subscribed to the
Institute’s Memorandum of Association.