Zobel de Ayala: Business governance key for luring investments, sustaining PHL economic growth

January 13, 2015 11:55 pm 

MANILA, Jan. 13 — More Philippine businesses need to practice good corporate governance to complement to the country’s governance structure crucial for attracting investments and sustaining robust economic growth.

Fernando Zobel de Ayala, president and chief operating officer of conglomerate Ayala Corp., said it is imperative that enterprises create and enforce stronger ethical standards in the governance of business.

“This will go a long way in building investor confidence, which as we all know, then translates to tangible benefits such as lower cost of capital, better valuations and ultimately, sustained growth,” Zobel said during the inaugural meeting and induction ceremonies of the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX) on Tuesday.

He recommended various areas of improvement in governance for local businesses, including the category of disclosures and transparency, upholding the rights of minority and institutional shareholders, rules on and representation of independent directors and the implementation of proper board processes and procedures.

While the country has made remarkable progress in the last few years of the Aquino administration, Zobel said “so much more needs to be done.”

“More work clearly needs to be done and it is important that we all play our part in continuing to improve the level of governance for our institutions and for the country,” he said.

“The platform of anti-corruption and good governance has unleashed so much growth, led to so much confidence in business and brought access to so many more products as a result of lower interest rates,” he added.

Apart from good governance, Zobel identified financial inclusion and infrastructure investments as other pillars that the country should continue to focus.

“Given where we are now as a country, it is imperative that the current momentum of structural and governance reforms that the current administration has put in place be continued,” he said.

“The highest standards of governance must be maintained and reform measures must be continued in the next administration if we want to sustain our growth momentum,” he said. (PNA)

RMA/LGI/LDV

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