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.
Created in 2005, the work of the ASIA SOE Network came to an end in 2013. During this time, partcipants 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. Priorities included:
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 Asia SOE Network, 24-25 May 2010
4th meeting of the Asia SOE Network, 20-21 May 2009
3rd meeting of the Asia SOE Network, 25-26 June 2008
2nd meeting of the Asia SOE Network, 19-20 April 2007
1st meeting of the Asia SOE Network, 15-16 May 2006