Pakistan’s Code of Corporate Governance only ensures compliance for companies noted by the stock exchange. As a result, responsible corporate governance is essential to the sustainability of unlisted companies that contribute to economic growth in Pakistan.
In June 2008, CIPE worked with the Pakistan Institute of Corporate Governance (PICG) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants Pakistan to create a Corporate Governance Guide for family-owned companies. CIPE has distributed the guide in English and Urdu to family-owned firms throughout Pakistan and has organized a series of workshops to reach a broader audience.
The Competitiveness Support Fund (CSF), a joint venture between the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and Pakistan’s Ministry of Commerce, recently funded three workshops in collaboration with the Lahore, Rawalpindi, and Karachi chambers that engaged over 70 family-owned businesses.
Among the key concepts discussed at the workshops were the following:
- Corporate governance can assist in creating a more sustainable organization by delineating
methods for generational transitions and succession planning.
- Conflict can be minimized through family councils.
- Formal board meetings can aid business decision-making.
- Family constitutions and councils can provide sustainability and growth for businesses.
- Appointing qualified individuals to represent the family on the board of directors can ensure
efficient business practices.
Moin M. Fudda, the Country Director of CIPE Pakistan, joined the PICG task force to review the Code of Corporate Governance in 2009. He participated in PICG focus group meetings and offered reflections on his experience with the development and implementation of the Code. The project coincided with his presidency at the Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry and his position as Managing Director of the Karachi Stock Exchange.
A high level of attendance and degree of participation were noted at the sessions, signaling that the issue of corporate governance is of growing importance in Pakistan.