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Thailand is a clear leader in corporate governance among Asian and emerging economies. But the recently launched 2013 Corporate Governance Report on Standards and Codes (ROSC) finds key challenges remain.
In the face of the 1997 crisis, Thailand has undertaken significant reforms that have enhanced corporate governance. Both regulators and the private sector in Thailand embraced good corporate governance, and have remained committed ever since. The World Bank also played a role - for example in helping establish the Thailand Institute of Directors in 2002 and conducting a previous Corporate Governance ROSC in 2005, which in turn was used by the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to support the next wave of reform. Overall, progress in the last 15 years has been impressive.
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It shouldn’t surprise anyone that a company interested in attracting investment might want to improve its corporate governance. The link between good governance and investor comfort is well-established, and IFC has seen growing demand for better corporate governance in many countries where there is serious interest in foreign investment.
Once a concession agreement or any large-scale public procurement contract is signed, who can ensure that the terms are met? How to turn commitments into development on the ground? This is the puzzle that a mix of around 70 government, business and civil society leaders from West Africa began to solve this past week.
Conventional wisdom holds that bribery is the preferred means of influencing government policy in less developed countries, while lobbying is more common in developed countries. Perhaps due to this perceived compartmentalization of lobbying and bribery, very little is known about the relationship between lobbying and bribery, the extent and effectiveness of lobbying vs. bribery in less developed countries, and how this relationship changes as countries move up the development ladder.
That is the one of the main contentions of a new Crisis Response Policy Brief from the World Bank on Bank Governance. Jumping right to the conclusion:
If you’ve ever been to London, then you’ve almost certainly seen the emblematic red circle and blue stripe with the word UNDERGROUND emblazoned on it. The Underground is a huge operation, made up of some 270 stations and 400km of track. So how does London keep this operation running?
Editor's Note: Larisa Smirnova is a consultant at the World Bank and is currently working with the Transparency Indicator team.
After more than two decades of service, Dani Kaufmann will be leaving the World Bank. If you didn't catch his farewell lecture last week, you can still see a video of it here. I highly recommend it - if ever you wondered whether someone could make a difference inside a large institution, this is it.