IFC Strengthens Corporate Governance in Europe and Central Asia, Helping Firms Attract Investment

Across Europe and Central Asia (ECA), IFC has adopted a comprehensive approach to help companies, local institutions and policy makers improve corporate governance. 

At the firm level, IFC is providing in-depth advice to 16 companies in ECA.  With IFC’s help, a family-owned business and IFC investment client in the Kyrgyz Republic, introduced a corporate secretary position and clarified its constitution and succession plan. 

IFC is also breaking new ground in IDA.  The recent signing of an agreement with a family-owned energy and engineering firm in Kosovo, marks the first such engagement for IFC in that country.  IFC is also assisting another investment client develop governance structures for its new entity in Kosovo.  In Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan, IFC helped companies and banks attract $11.8 million in financing as a result of improved corporate governance.  

To ensure that governance advances are sustainable, IFC is helping local institutions build their capacity. In Macedonia, IFC is helping the Institute of Directors to become that nation’s leading provider of governance services. With IFC’s help, the Institute has increased its membership by 50%, introduced advanced organizational structures, and developed a 17-module director training offering.  “IFC has supported the establishment of our Institute and provided highly valuable advice on ways for us to reach our full potential in the market,” said Verica Hadzivasileva Markovska, member of the Institute’s Board.

IFC is also advising policy makers on improving the corporate governance framework. In Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Azerbaijan, IFC has helped to roll out the Corporate Governance Scorecard which enables boards and investors to quickly assess the state of corporate governance in companies. In Tajikistan, IFC helped the government introduce the National Corporate Governance Standards.

IFC is also supporting women business leaders. In Kosovo and Kazakhstan, dynamic workshops were held recently, bringing top female managers from IFC client companies and other firms to share experiences and lessons of doing business in the region.   In Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Serbia, IFC has recently launched a report which offers policy recommendations for market players and regulators to empower women and improve board diversity.