The need for socially responsible corporate governance

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IT is undeniable that private sector development plays a crucial role in a country’s economic development. Nevertheless, not enough people are aware that private firms are required to be socially responsible. This has been so for decades, with private firms failing to fulfil their corporate social responsibilities (CSR). Mining companies operating in Hpakant and the Mandalay Taung Thaman Inn are notorious examples of this. These businesses’ adverse effects on the environment and the casualities and damages they have caused have attracted the attention of the authorities and environmental advocates.
The success of a business must depend upon good corporate governance, which is linked to corporate culture. Corporate culture is shaped by the proprietors’ or stockholders’ personal beliefs and values. Although corporations are bent upon the maximisation of profit, they cannot ignore the social factor. Corporations are obliged to set social objectives as well. They need to protect the natural environment in the implementation of their economic objectives. Business must be eco-friendly; a company’s economic goals should be achieved in a manner that sustains the environment. In other words, all development ought to be sustainable development.
It would not be improper to point out that ownership should be separated from management in order to ensure good corporate governance. In Myanmar, more than 90 per cent of proprietors tend to be involved in the day-to-day management of their businesses. They are always interested in the details rather than placing an emphasis on the formulation of strategies and long-term plans. This is the reason why, very often, business owners fail to have a bird’s eye view of their own activities and their effects on the world around them.
If the government wants businesses to prosper, grow and develop, it should promote the awareness of the importance of good corporate governance, which emphasises transparency, accountability, honesty and corporate social responsibility (CSR). The members of the boards of directors of all major companies operating in the country should be given training. Their performances ought to be evaluated to assess whether they have made progress upon the completion of their training.
The Global New Light of Myanmar would like to urge all stakeholders to direct their efforts toward the effectuation of good corporate governance in such a way as to contribute toward the development of both the businesses and the national economy.

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