Towards sound and efficient financial markets and banking systems In recent years, corporate governance has received international prominence in both the public and private sectors as investors, boards and governments come to terms with its impact on private sector valuations, capital markets and economies.
This prominence has risen from an increasingly complex global legal and regulatory environment, high-profile instances of corporate malfeasance, greater participation from foreign investors in developing markets and heightened investor awareness of the valuation risk associated with poor corporate governance practices.
Introducing good corporate governance is vital for financial and economic development in the Middle East. It will ensure the region can operate on a level playing field with other markets and attract foreign capital. Companies will benefit greatly by applying good corporate governance practices, such as defining board responsibilities, ensuring shareholders rights and providing financial disclosure. This commitment to transparency will attract more investor interest and provide greater choice in sources of capital.
Already, practical developments are taking place. The public sector is committing to improving corporate governance standards, while the presence of foreign capital and investment is raising expectations for overall standards.
The inaugural Hawkamah Conference, co-hosted by the OECD, focused on attaining a deeper insight into the key issues of corporate governance, its role in Islamic finance, the importance of information technology and the role of the media in improving corporate governance practice. The interactive sessions provided an opportunity for the participants to contribute to practical recommendations for improving regional corporate governance standards and help raise the profile of this important initiative.
The Dubai Declaration called for the development of the Task Force on Corporate Governance of Banks, Task Force on the Corporate Governance of State-Owned Enterprises, and the Insolvency Module to further consolidate governance reforms in the region. The Dubai Declaration is available in Arabic and English.
The conference was supported by international and regional institutions such as MENA OECD Working Group on Corporate Governance, International Finance Corporation, Global Corporate Governance Forum Center for International Private Enterprise, Union of Arab Banks, ISACA-UAE, INSOL, Institute for International Finance, Egyptian Banking Institute, Egyptian Institute of Directors, and Financial Services Volunteer Corps.
Hawkamah would like to thank its corporate sponsors for helping make this event happen: