The Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI) is organizing Corporate Governance Week 2008 from January 13- 17, 2008. The inauguration ceremony of the Corporate Governance Week 2008 was held on January 13, 2008 in the Grand Ball Room of the Dhaka Sheraton Hotel.
Adviser for ministry of Finance and Planning Dr. A.B. Mirza Md. Azizul inaugurated Corporate Governance Week 2008 as the Chief Guest. Bangladesh Bank`s Governor Dr. Salehuddin Ahmed and Chairman of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Mr. Faruq Ahmad Siddiqi were present at the inauguration as Special Guests. BEI President Mr. Farooq Sobhan presided over the session.
The theme of the Corporate Governance Week 2008 is Corporate Governance for Growth, Development and Sustainability. The objective of the events of the week is to provide an opportunity to all the stakeholders: business enterprises; SOEs; regulators; academics; researchers; development organizations; and NGOs, in Bangladesh to discuss, share, and exchange views and experiences on various issues on corporate governance.
The weeklong programme will facilitate stakeholders to strengthen and ensure good corporate governance practices in Bangladesh, which in today’s globalize world is considered an important element for growth, development and sustainability of business. The detailed programme of the week is attached for your reference.
While delivering the welcome address, Mr. Sobhan said that over the years BEI has played a critical role in promoting corporate governance in Bangladesh. After launching the first comprehensive Code of Corporate Governance for Bangladesh in 2004, BEI initiated a Corporate Governance Strengthening Project (CGSP), with the support of the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Dhaka, to raise both awareness as well as the standard of corporate governance in Bangladesh.
The project has served as an important platform to enhance the interaction between the business community, the regulatory agencies, the self-regulatory bodies, and the civil society, in bringing to the forefront the key challenges faced by Bangladesh in promoting and upholding the principles of good corporate governance. In addition, CGSP has also enabled BEI to invite a number of leading international as well as local experts to speak at various conferences and round table meetings on different aspects of Corporate Governance. BEI has endeavored to facilitate the exchange of ideas and information and share cross-country experiences on the best practices on corporate governance.
The Chairman of the SEC appreciated the BEI’s initiative to organize a weeklong programme. He said that corporate governance is an emerging issue in Bangladesh and that the weeklong interaction among the stakeholders would certainly contribute to and strengthen corporate governance practice in this country. He said that Bangladesh needs to learn more about the regional and international developments in corporate governance and develop our own best practices taking into consideration Bangladesh’s development and socio cultural environment.
The Bangladesh Bank Governor highlighted the following steps undertaken by the central
Bank to promote corporate governance in the banking sector of Bangladesh- Roles and functions of the Board and management were clarified and redefined. Number of Directors of Board was limited to 13. A person to be a director for a bank for more than six years at a stretch was debarred. Close relations of directors a bank were restricted to be directors.
Appointment of two independent directors to protect depositors’ interest was decided. ‘Fit and proper’ test for Bank Directors and the Managing Directors were prescribed. Disclosure and transparency standards in accordance with International Audit Standard (especially IAS-30) have been introduced. Audit Committees were mandated for all banks with clear guidelines and Terms of reference. Banks have been asked to strengthen their internal control system. Credit rating of banks has been made mandatory.
Dr. A.B. Mirza Md. Azizul Islam, chief guest of the event, reiterated the importance of good corporate governance practices in Bangladesh.