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Fiji to host first ever Pacific summit on corporate governance

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Fiji is set to host the inaugural annual Pacific Governance Summit on April 4, bringing together leading representatives from regional and local businesses, governments, as well as civil society.

The move was announced today following a meeting of the Board of the Pacific Corporate Governance Institute (PCGI) in Suva. The 2019 PCGI inaugural annual Pacific Governance Summit will focus on promoting good corporate governance, learning from international experience, with the aim helping directors and executives develop effective governance practices in their own organizations. It will also focus on the challenges and opportunities of corporate governance in Fiji and the Pacific region.

"The summit will provide a unique opportunity for the business sector to learn about the challenges and opportunities that comes with good corporate governance," said PCGI board member RBF Governor Ariff Ali "It’s vital for companies seeking to raise capital, improve their risk management or preparing to publicly list, to be aware of the benefits of good corporate governance practices to help maximize their long- term sustainability."

The inaugural event will also examine the roles of directors and delve into other issues such as shareholder rights, conduct and disclosure and governance of state owned enterprises. There will also be a special two-day audit committee master program, developed in partnership with IFC, the International Finance Corporation, to provide targeted board level training for audit committee members. In addition, PCGI will also be running their Corporate Governance Action Planning (CGAP) workshop to help companies develop a practical approach for implementing sound corporate governance practices.

A recent study by IFC, a sister organization to the World Bank, revealed that companies with top corporate governance scores enjoyed lower credit risks and their return-on-equity was almost three times higher than that of companies with the lowest governance scores. Numerous studies have also shown that good corporate governance has a positive impact on businesses’ performance and access to finance. "We’re seeing a growing need and awareness within the business sector across the Pacific of the need to ensure they have good corporate governance," said IFC’s Resident Representative in Suva, Deva De Silva. "In today’s world, companies simply cannot afford to ignore the benefits of corporate governance, as it can significantly help companies improve their bottom line and attract investors."

IFC has helped more than 11,000 companies in more than 30 countries to implement best practices in governance that enable them to have access to new funds estimated at more than $3.2 billion. IFC, with support from the Australian Government and endorsement from the Reserve Bank of Fiji, set up the institute in November 2017. PCGI now operates as an independent non-profit organization, with a clear mandate to promote principles of good corporate governance to companies in Fiji and operate as a center of excellence for corporate governance in the broader Pacific region.

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