Baku, Azerbaijan, December 23, 2011—
A client survey conducted by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, shows that 97 percent of Azerbaijani firms surveyed have improved their corporate governance practices since 2005, which helped firms strengthen operations and attract $132 million in investment.
The IFC Azerbaijan Corporate Governance Project, which operated from 2005 to 2011, advised companies and banks on improvements to their corporate governance systems and promoted best practices nationally. The IFC project supported the government of Azerbaijan in developing new corporate governance legislation, including the National Corporate Governance Standards, and helped educational institutions to incorporate corporate governance coursework into their curricula.
According to the IFC survey, more than 80 percent of firms reported improved decision-making ability as a result of better corporate governance; 70 percent of firms made improvements to their supervisory board; and more than 50 percent improved or introduced their annual report. For more than 30 percent of firms surveyed, improved corporate governance helped to attract new investment.
The IFC Azerbaijan Corporate Governance Project was run in partnership with the Swiss Secretariat of Economic Affairs, SECO.
“IFC achieved all of its goals, which led to impressive results,” said Philipp Keller, Deputy Regional Director for the Swiss Cooperation Office in the Caucasus. “SECO is especially pleased to see the emphasis that IFC put on enhancing the capacity of local organizations to continue to promote corporate governance improvements in Azerbaijan.”
As part of its strategy to build local capacity, IFC trained several Azeri consulting firms, including the Corporate Directors and Managers Association, Isgandarov and Partners Consultancy, and the Association of Risk Professionals of Azerbaijan, all of whom will continue to help companies and banks improve corporate governance.
“The Association will build on IFCs work to help Azerbaijani directors and managers incorporate best international corporate governance practices into their operations,” said Murad Alizada of the Azerbaijan Corporate Directors and Managers Association.
Azerbaijan joined IFC in 1995. As of September 30, 2011, IFC had a committed portfolio in Azerbaijan of $139 million. IFC supports diversification of the country’s economic base, and sustainable growth in the non-oil economy.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, providing advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets. In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute to their local communities—all while driving our investments to an all-time high of nearly $19 billion. For more information, visit