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Bid to raise the bar

Monika Singh
Wednesday, March 07, 2018

SINCE the opening of the Pacific Corporate Governance Institute in Fiji, a lot of private sector businesses as well as state owned institutions have shown interest to learn more about corporate governance.

IFC's resident representative for Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Kiribati, Deva De Silva said they had seen a clear appetite from private sector businesses and state owned institutions to raise the bar and foster growth through good governance.

A statement from PCGI yesterday said the board directors and senior executives had signed up for the first training workshops of the newly formed institution with the aim of promoting good governance practices in the business sector in the region.

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, with the support of Australia, set up the institute last November, with the endorsement of the Reserve Bank of Fiji and working with the South Pacific Stock Exchange.

Mr De Silva said in the small markets in the Pacific region, family owned businesses were common phenomenon.

"Some of these businesses have now developed into reasonably large diversified companies, making the case for stronger corporate governance practices to be an integral part of their operations," he said.

He said good corporate governance could help companies improve performance, increase access to finance and foster sustained growth.

"This will help Fijian companies better manage risks and improve profitability."

The two-day training workshop started in Suva yesterday and attracted board directors and senior executives from medium and large sized companies across different industries.

According to the statement the workshops are designed to help companies develop a practical approach for implementing sound corporate governance practices, with a focus on setting up effective boards of directors, as well as establishing effective management controls.

It said as part of its work the PCGI would also hold sessions to train trainers with the idea of building long term sustainability and increasing capacity in local Fijian trainers to potentially deliver some future corporate governance workshops in Fiji.

Meanwhile the institute will also hold a session on board gender diversity tomorrow to mark International Women's Day. This will be after a special ring the bell event sponsored by the South Pacific Stock Exchange.

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