The scale and scope of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in many Asian economies calls for specific attention to be given to their corporate governance. While their economic significance varies from country to country, they still represent an important, if not dominant, part of the regional economy. SOEs in Asia, as in some OECD countries, are prominent in energy, transportation, electricity, gas, water supply, natural resource extraction, telecommunication and financial service industries. It is in the interest of every country to ensure that state-owned assets are well-managed seeing that they often represent a significant part of GDP, employment, and fiscal revenues of a country. Good SOE corporate governance is a key part of enhancing performance and supporting national development goals.
In 2014, the OECD is launching the OECD-Southeast Asia Programme on Capital Market Development and Corporate Governance of State-Owned Enterprises, with the financial support of the government of Japan. Complementary to the Asian Roundtable on Corporate Governance, the new programme will initially focus on corporate governance and capital market development in Myanmar and Viet Nam. It will address corporate governance in listed companies, but also in the state-owned sector, where future privatisations may serve as an important vehicle to stimulate and develop stock markets. The programme will benefit from the experience of the former Asia Network on Corporate Governance of SOEs.
This initiative takes over from the OECD-Asia Network on Corporate Governance of State-Owned Enterprises that was established in 2005 under the auspices of the Asian Roundtable on Corporate Governance to raise awareness and promote the use in Asian economies of the OECD Guidelines on Corporate Governance of State-Owned Enterprises. The work of the Network has now come to an end.
In addition to meeting regularly, the Network developed a Regional Policy Brief, providing a set of recommendations and priorities for policy reform to improve the corporate governance of SOEs in the economies of Asia. Using this document and the OECD Guidelines on the Corporate Governance of State Owned Enterprises, the Network then focused on identifying reform priorities for individual countries. Network priorities included:
- raising awareness of all concerned constituencies on the importance and challenges related to the good corporate governance of SOEs
- evaluating current SOE corporate governance policy frameworks and practices, benchmarking these against international good practice as described in the Guidelines
- influencing policy making by providing a forum in which policy makers, practitioners and experts can share knowledge and experience among themselves and with their OECD peers
- supporting viable and effective reforms in the area of SOE corporate governance, by discussing and analysing policy options, developing relevant recommendations and agreeing on priorities for reforms adapted to the conditions in Asian economies
7th meeting of the Asia SOE Network, 3-4 July 2012
6th meeting of the Asia SOE Network, 17-18 May 2011
5th meeting of the OECD Network on Corporate Governance of State-Owned Enterprises in Asia, 24-25 May 2010
4th Meeting of the Network on Corporate Governance of State-Owned Enterprises in Asia, 20-21 May 2009
Third meeting of the Asia Network on Corporate Governance of State-Owned Assets, 25-26 June 2008
2nd meeting of the Network on Corporate Governance of State-Owned Enterprises in Asia, 19-20 April 2007
Asia Network on Corporate Governance of State Owned Enterprises - Singapore, 15-16 May 2006, 15-16 May 2006