South Asia


IFC’s South Asia Corporate Governance Program helps strengthen markets and stabilize businesses across the region. With a focus on long term sustainability, the goal is to improve financial performance, operational efficiency, and access to capital by strengthening corporate governance fundamentals. Launched in January 2014, the program is funded by the Japan Ministry of Finance.

What We Do

IFC provides advice to companies, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), private equity funds and banks on improving their corporate governance practices, based on international standards. Specific areas of focus include:

  • Board practices
  • Shareholder rights
  • Internal and external controls
  • Risk management
  • Transparency
  • Family business governance and reporting
  • Regulatory enforcement
  • Dispute resolution

Efforts also include building local capacity and working with multiple market stakeholders to promote broader acceptance of good corporate governance.

We work with regulators, stock exchanges and securities exchange commissions, supporting reforms through corporate governance codes and listing rules. We also work with corporate governance institutes/institutes of directors, educational institutions and the media to raise awareness and share knowledge.

Where We Work

IFC’s corporate governance activities are tailored to the specific needs of the markets where we work: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.

Project Highlight: Multi-Pronged Approach in Bangladesh Yields Results

Bangladesh has achieved an impressive 5 percent growth rate over the last 20 years. But sustaining this growth over the long term, and in an uncertain global economy, will be a challenge. With the help of IFC’s comprehensive Bangladesh Corporate Governance Project, funded by IFC, Department for International Development (DFID), Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) and the government of the Netherlands, the business community is now better positioned to do just that.

Over the past few years, there has been a growing understanding of the link between better corporate governance practices, enhanced financial performance and more efficient operations. In turn, these improvements can help attract the capital needed to sustain the nation’s growth trajectory.

The increased attention to the importance of corporate governance at multiple market levels is due in no small part to IFC’s outreach, guidance, and awareness raising efforts.

At the regulatory level, IFC worked with Bangladesh’s Securities and Exchange Commission which issued corporate governance guidelines that became mandatory for the listed companies in 2012. In 2013, the central bank included new corporate governance provisions as it revised the country’s Bank Companies Act. IFC’s wide-ranging, donor supported governance efforts in Bangladesh extend to the company secretaries, and accounting and auditing realm. IFC’s Corporate Governance Advisory work in Bangladesh with individual firms has helped to facilitate financing of more than $40 million for family-owned businesses, SMEs and financial institutions that improved in their governance practices.


Women on Boards of Companies Listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange, 2nd edition, March 2019

Corporate Governance Scores 2018, February 2019

Women on Boards of Companies Listed at the Colombo Stock Exchange, 1st edition, March 2018

Corporate Governance Scores S&P BSE 100 Companies, January 2018
The report presents the corporate governance scores of companies forming the S&P BSE 100 index. The scores are based on the Indian Corporate Governance Scorecard Methodology that is a set of 70 questions based on the G20/OECD Principles of Corporate Governance

CEO Succession Planning in India, November 2017

Indian Corporate Governance Scorecard, December 2016

SME Governance Tool, June 2016

Board Evaluations: Insights from India and Beyond, June 2015
This booklet examines features of board evaluation and the challenges now facing boards in India and beyond.

Culture and Corporate Governance Principles in India: Reconcilable Clashes? 2011
Private Sector Opinion 23 explores the dynamics of culture and corporate governance in India by calling attention to three areas where the clashes are strongest: related-party transactions, the promoter’s or large shareholder’s actions, and the board’s nominations, deliberations, and effectiveness.

Related Party Transactions and Effective Governance - How it Works in Practice in India, October 2010
The related party transactions give rise to situations of conflicts of interest and are integrally related to the overall governance of a company and to board’s effectiveness, as the board as the responsibility of direction and control of the company lies with the board of the company.

Key Corporate Governance Considerations for India’s Economic Development, December 2010
Keynote address by Phil Armstrong at the 10th annual National Award for Excellence in Corporate Governance in India.

Corporate Governance in Asia, 2010
Insights by Philip Armstrong

Private Sector Opinion 11: Crashes, Bailouts, Regulations, April 2009
Pratip Kar reassesses the existing views on India's financial institutions, market structure, financial products, and the regulatory architecture in the current financial crisis.


September 2018

Related Links

Fact Sheet: Corporate Governance in South Asia, November 2015

Study: Realizing Sustainability Through Diversity: The Case for Gender Diversity Among Sri Lanka’s Business Leadership, March 2019

Report: Corporate Governance Scores 2018, February 2019

Directory: Women on Boards of Companies Listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange
Second edition, March 2019 
First edition, March 2018

Directory: Women on Boards of Companies Listed on the Dhaka Stock Exchange, March 2019



"We Are” Women on Boards in Sri Lanka

Corporate Governance Scorecard - Unveiling the Preliminary Findings of Pilot Implementation
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

IFC and Bombay Stock Exchange collaborate to develop India’s first Corporate Governance Scorecard

IFC Bangladesh Corporate Governance Project 
Long version |  Short version



Vladislava Ryabota
Corporate Governance Lead
+91-22-423-02-400 |

Lopa Rahman 
Corporate Governance Officer
+880-173-032-8443 |