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IFC Helps Georgian Companies Improve Corporate Governance and Increase Profitability

Monday, January 24
Tbilisi, Georgia, January 21, 2011 — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, successfully completed its Georgia Corporate Governance project, and today summarized the results of its program to help Georgian companies improve their corporate governance practices. Following principles of responsibility, accountability, and transparency enables firms to become more profitable and thus attract investment.

The IFC project helped improve the legal environment regulating corporate governance issues, and facilitated adoption of a voluntary Corporate Governance Code by the Association of Banks of Georgia. IFC delivered seminars and workshops on legal and financial aspects of corporate governance, individual consultations, and a specially designed Pilot Program for select companies and banks. Twenty-one companies and banks improved 50 policies/procedures, and all of them reported improved performance as a result of making corporate governance improvements.

IFC recently published the Georgia Corporate Governance Manual, which provides a comprehensive overview of Georgia’s regulatory requirements related to corporate governance. The publication will help Georgian companies improve corporate governance standards and practices beyond completion of the IFC project. The project presented the manual to the key counterparts during the project closing ceremony on January 21.

“Good corporate governance is one of the key preconditions for attracting investors, domestic as well as international,” said Maia Tevzadze, Project Manager for IFC Georgia Corporate Governance Project. “Through the IFC project activities we helped Georgian companies become more attractive for investors. Our publications, especially Georgia Corporate Governance Manual, will serve as practical guidance for raising corporate governance standards in the future."

From 2006 to January 2011, IFC Georgia Corporate Governance Project was run in partnership with BP and its oil and gas co-venturers and the Canadian International Development Agency.

IFC’s cumulative investments in Georgia since 1995 total nearly $500 million in 35 projects across a variety of sectors. Through its Advisory Services, IFC is working to reform Georgia’s tax system to benefit small businesses, and is helping raise food safety standards in Georgian companies. Georgia has been a member of IFC since 1995.