IFC Helps Haitian Businesses Strengthen their Corporate Governance

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The FINANCIAL — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, together with the World Bank and the Central Bank of Haiti are hosting a three-day corporate governance workshop in Port au Prince this week to help Haitian state-owned enterprises, family businesses and the media develop sound corporate governance practices. 

“IFC’s global corporate governance team has a long track record of helping companies of all types and sizes build the conditions necessary for long-term success,” said Sylvain Kakou, IFC Representative in Haiti. “In Haiti, good corporate governance can make a big difference in helping companies grow and attract new investors. This in turn helps strengthen the country’s economy.” 

Corporate governance is defined as the structures and processes by which companies are directed and controlled. During more than two decades, IFC has worked to improve the governance of a wide range of companies. Our experience has shown that good corporate governance practices help businesses operate more efficiently, better manage risks, and attract investment on better terms, according to IFC.

The objective of this week’s workshop is to raise awareness about the governance of family-owned businesses and state-owned enterprises. IFC and World Bank specialists will address challenges faced by these firms such as planning for succession, raising capital, ensuring accountability, and structuring the board of directors. There will also be a session to help journalists build their capacity to report on corporate governance matters. 

“Haiti’s businesses, large and small, are key to boosting growth, innovation, trade, and efficiency. Helping these businesses thrive is essential,” said Jean Baden Dubois, Governor of Haiti’s Central Bank. “Corporate governance is an important tool in supporting Haitian businesses to attract needed investment, grow and partner with international firms.” 

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Well-run companies are better able to respond to competitive challenges and legitimate stakeholder concerns. Family owned businesses can also see important benefits. Approximately 95% of the world’s family businesses do not successfully reach the third generation of ownership; the long-term sustainability of such firms is therefore a central issue. Improving corporate governance practices, such as adopting more formalized approaches to management, succession guidelines and changes in board structure, can help family businesses increase their long-term viability. 

IFC’s portfolio in Haiti amounts to $148 million, including $54 million mobilized from partner institutions. IFC operates in sectors such as hospitality, energy, access to finance, and manufacturing. Our strategy focuses on creating jobs, access to basic infrastructure, and income opportunities for Haitians.

 

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