Southern Exposure

Desde as Entranhas dos Labirintos Latinos.

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Speaking of business practices in Latin America...

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has released its white paper about Corporate Governance in Latin America. As recent and not so recent experience indicates, good corporate governance is a difficult issue, even for developed countries.

November 2003

Latin American White Paper on Corporate Governance
Plan for Latin American Corporate Governance Reform Issued)

Corporate governance experts from Latin America, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and International Finance Corporation (IFC) unveiled an action plan for corporate governance reform in the region -- the White Paper on Corporate Governance in Latin America.

The White Paper, setting out consensus-based priorities for the region, was developed in cooperation with the World Bank Group through a series of meetings of the Latin American Roundtable on Corporate Governance, an initiative involving senior regulators, policy-makers, investors, business groups and NGOs from countries throughout Latin America, as well as participants from the OECD and a range of other international organizations. The White Paper was developed through discussions over the course of four Roundtable meetings held in Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and Chile between 2000 and 2003. The OECD and IFC serve as Secretariat for the Roundtable, which also receives support from the Global Corporate Governance Forum and the Inter-American Development Bank.

Among the key priorities for action identified in the White Paper are taking voting rights seriously; treating shareholders fairly during changes in corporate control and de-listings; insuring the integrity of financial reporting and improving disclosure; developing effective boards of directors; improving the quality, effectiveness and predictability of the legal and regulatory framework; and continuing regional cooperation.

The White Paper was developed using the OECD Principles of Corporate
Governance as the reference for discussions, and has been adapted to
address the conditions and circumstances particular to Latin America. The region's distinguishing characteristics include the important role that industrial and sometimes financial conglomerates play in the development of privately-owned industry, combined with highly concentrated and often family-based ownership. Such characteristics suggest that particular attention is needed to ensure transparency of transactions, independent and effective board management and protection of minority shareholder rights and interests.

The White Paper can be downloaded in PDF format from this web address:



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