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Corporate governance codes are essential tools for enhancing corporate
governance practices at the national level. Their primary role is to raise standards
and to drive reform efforts. Many developed and developing countries have
adopted corporate governance codes of best practice to restore and sustain
investor confidence in the wake of a financial crisis or corporate scandals. But
corporate governance codes also serve as benchmarks for monitoring and
implementing corporate practices and policies at the company level.
This corporate governance reform toolkit emphasizes the purpose and benefits
of developing corporate governance codes of best practice. The toolkit focuses
on the various steps involved in crafting, disseminating, implementing,
monitoring, and reviewing corporate governance codes of best practice.
The toolkit aims to provide users with a variety of tools and examples that can
help organizations and individuals produce best practice codes to help improve
corporate governance practices at the country level. Because corporate
governance codes have now been adopted in many countries, this toolkit draws
attention to the importance of monitoring, updating, and improving existing
codes of best practice.
The Global Corporate Governance Forum recognizes that there are many
different ways and valid approaches to developing and implementing a corporate
governance code. Codes can be successfully initiated by governments, business
groups, or regulators. They can be implemented through market pressure,
professional organizations, or listing rules. Whatever the chosen approach, it is
essential that the code comply with international standards while addressing a
country’s specificities and reform needs.