The FINANCIAL — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is helping train banking professionals in Lao People’s Democratic Republic adopt best corporate governance and risk management practices. This will help Lao commercial banks strengthen risk governance, improve sustainability and attract investment.
More than 60 bank directors and senior executives are taking part in the two-day session, beginning today in Vientiane. Organized in collaboration with the Lao Bankers Association, the Association of Banks of Singapore and the ASEAN Bankers Association, the program covers topics such as effective governance, governance structures, board leadership, shareholder rights protection, credit, and operational risk management, according to IFC.
“It is pertinent for banks to raise their corporate governance and risk management levels as they seek to improve their sustainability and competitiveness in the marketplace,” said Chris Razook, IFC Corporate Governance Lead for East Asia and the Pacific. “Good corporate governance helps banks safeguard against mismanagement, generate better returns for shareholders and attract more capital to fuel their growth.”
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has been trying to harmonize corporate governance practices across its markets and promote ASEAN as an attractive asset class for regional and global investors. As part of ASEAN, Lao companies are expected to raise their bar in corporate governance to improve their competitiveness.
At the event, discussions include how to apply leading corporate governance practices in Lao financial institutions in order to help them improve risk management and strategic stewardship. Better-run banks will be able to provide greater financial access to local entrepreneurs and small businesses.
Since October 2015, IFC has been helping the Lao Securities Commission Office to prioritize good corporate governance among Lao companies and their peers in neighboring countries. IFC’s Corporate Governance Program in East Asia and the Pacific is funded by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs of Switzerland.