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Astana, Kazakhstan, March 31, 2016
—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today opened its forum on corporate governance in Astana in partnership with the Corporate University “Samruk-Kazyna,” to help Kazakhstani companies become more transparent and accountable to investors and stakeholders.
The two-day forum, attended by more than 150 analysts, executives, and officials, aims to examine local corporate governance practices and spread global trends and best practices. The organizers emphasized that improved corporate governance helps businesses attract and retain investment, among other benefits.
“Good corporate governance builds investor confidence, and the establishment of the International Finance Center in Astana, along with the planned privatization and preparation of firms for an initial public offering (IPO), require us to bring corporate governance up to international standards as soon as possible,” said Umirzak Shukeev, Chaiman of the Management Board of JSC Samruk-Kazyna. “Good corporate governance requires strong commitment, board and management support, and changes in business culture and behavior.”
Moazzam Mekan, IFC Regional Manager for Central Asia, said: “IFC works with the private sector in Kazakhstan to build sustainable businesses by putting in place corporate governance practices that allow businesses to mitigate risk, safeguard against mismanagement, and attract the investment and capital that will fuel their growth.”
Kazakhstan has introduced solid legislation on corporate governance and made significant steps to promote corporate governance principles. Yet most joint-stock companies in Kazakhstan tend to comply formally with the legislative requirements. As a result, it’s hard to identify companies that could be seen as corporate governance standard bearers. The country also lacks an enforcement mechanism to respond to corporate governance compliance failures.
In addition to hosting the forum, IFC is providing guidance to firms that want to improve their governance practices by partnering with local institutions to engage companies in a variety of ways, including thematic training, customized diagnostic reviews, consultations on specific corporate governance matters, and in-depth assessments with implementation plans. IFC’s Corporate Governance Program in Europe and Central Asia is funded by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs of Switzerland.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our capital, expertise, and influence, to create opportunity where it’s needed most. In FY15, our long-term investments in developing countries rose to nearly $18 billion, helping the private sector play an essential role in the global effort to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit
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