Guest Post: Fighting Corporate Corruption in Thailand, Part Two — Private Initiatives

Karin Zarifi, an independent consultant to the Securities and Exchange Commission Thailand, contributes the following post (the second in a two-part series on combating corporate corruption among Thai public companies):

In my last post, I discussed how the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was undertaking innovative measures, in conjunction with private sector initiatives, to fight corruption and encourage good corporate governance in Thai public companies. One of the SEC’s most important partners in its efforts is the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET), on which approximately 600 companies are listed. The SET and the SEC have been promoting their own and each other’s initiatives, as well as those of private sector organizations like the Thai Institute of Directors (IOD) and the Thaipat Institute, in ways that are encouraging, and seem to be helping Thailand to become a corporate sustainability leader among Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries.

The role of the SET in fighting corruption cannot be overlooked. Stock exchanges are uniquely positioned to use their listing and disclosure requirements to encourage sustainable practices, including anticorruption, by listed companies and allow consideration by investors. The role of stock exchanges in wealthy countries — most notably the New York Stock Exchange — in imposing ethics and disclosure requirements on listed companies is already well-known. The SET’s recent initiatives demonstrate that stock exchanges in developing countries can also play this role. Although a stock exchange’s anticorruption initiatives cannot substitute for appropriate action by government regulators, they are a vital complement to government efforts to prohibit bribery and corruption. Continue reading