Improvement in corporate governance to attract investors: Speakers

DHAKA Speakers at a seminar have underscored the need for improvement in corporate governance to attract more entrepreneurs, especially from Japan, for investing in the country.

They made the observation at the seminar and panel discussion on the Future of Corporate Reporting in Enhancing Investment Decisions at a hotel in the city on Saturday night, said a press release.

International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, in partnership with Japan Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industries (JBCCI) organized the seminar and the panel discussion.

The seminar, organized with the objective to discuss key issues of importance to investors and Japanese stakeholders. They also urged on to bring to the forefront some of the challenges faced by the private sector in implementing corporate governance best practices and towards better corporate reporting, in the context of Bangladesh.

Executive Chairman of the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) Sirajul Islam and Commissioner of the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission Dr Swapan Kumar Bala attended the seminar.

Member Governing Board � International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN) Anne Molyneux, Vice President � Shoo Koo Kai Prodip Das and Chief Representative � Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Yuji Ando attended the panel discussion.

Corporate Governance Officer of the International Finance Corporation Lopa Rahman moderated the discussion.

Sirajul Islam said Bangladesh has improved in the World Bank's 'Doing Business' ranking, but the target is to reach double digits and thus there is no room for complacency on the part of the Government of Bangladesh.

He mentioned that the time has come for companies in Bangladesh operating in any industry to be compliant in order to compete in the global market.

Swapan Kumar Bala said that the future of corporate reporting is in environment, social and corporate governance reporting, but unfortunately those elements were not included in the final Corporate Governance Code that was issued by the SEC in 2018.

In the keynote speech, Molyneux mentioned that the financial crisis in 2008 saw a lot of banks going insolvent across the globe, which made everyone emphasize on the social, environment and governance policies that eventually reduce risks.

Another key point mentioned was that in Bangladesh, in order to avoid similar crisis in banking, corporate governance and lending practices would need a lot of improvement, he added.

Yuji Ando said a total of 302 Japanese companies are running in the country and to attract more Japanese investment, it is crucial that Bangladesh prioritizes issues such as better corporate governance improved disclosure and a more investment friendly environment.

Prodip Das said One of the key challenges faced by Japanese investors is having confidence in the information that is available.

General Secretary of the JBCCI Tareq Rafi Bhuiyan (Jun) delivered the vote of thanks.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)