June 25, 2014 00:00 By Erich Parpart, Sirivish Toomg
IMPROVEMENTS in the country's corporate-governance (CG) performance will have to start with individual firms, then the organisation level and on to the national level, leading corporations said yesterday.
Isara Vongkusolkit, chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce and Board of Trade of Thailand, said private-sector organisations such as the TCC and the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) were in full support of the Anti-Corruption Organisation of Thailand and were in constant contact with it to provide suggestions.
“The protection of farmers should be a core [practice] for companies that depend on raw supplies from them. Sometimes farmers need help from contractors, and since some contractors cheat on them, it is the job of listed companies to set the benchmark and train these contractors in CG while helping farmers to hold down their production costs,” he said.
At a seminar organised by the Thai Institute of Directors, Bandid Nijathaworn, president and chief executive of the IOD, said CG was vital to business sustainability, competitiveness, market integrity and the well-being of the economy. However, many challenges remain to be tackled to improve the country’s CG performance.
Supant Mongkolsuthree, chairman of the FTI, said it was the duty of CEOs to show how they will drive CG and to prove how important it can be for the firm and society.
Ajva Taulananda, vice chairman of Charoen Pokphand Group, said the push for CG had to come from large stakeholders down to the management level, but there was a need to align the vision with the tactics from the top.
“To improve corporate governance, a firm must find members of committees that are willing to give importance to corporate-governance performance and they need to have the matrix of skills that is needed,” he said.
Chirayu Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, chairman of Siam Cement Group, said no CG actions could be successfully implemented without proper board members who are willing to drive it forward.
Banthoon Lamsam, chairman of Kasikornbank, said there was a need for competent independent directors to help improve a company’s CG, but such individuals were beginning to be hard to find, since the demand for such skills is high.
Nation Multimedia Group president Duangkamol Chotana said NMG had long ago developed and adopted a code of conduct, which it has kept reviewing to keep it up to date with the changing environment.
The key to ensuring the successful implementation of ethical conduct is to turn what was written in corporate ethics manuals into something practical, clear and concrete for staff, she said.