Good governance a must: Buamim

DUBAI - Good governance is recognised as a cornerstone for sustainable economic growth and business development, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry Director-General Hamad Buamim said.

By Abdul Basit

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Published: Sun 24 Apr 2011, 11:08 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 3:34 AM

High standards of corporate governance and transparency enable companies to foster trust with stakeholders and in turn help improve investor and consumer confidence, Buamim told Khaleej Times in an interview.

The Chamber’s Centre for Responsible Business, or CRB, has issued a Conference Proceedings Paper for the Dubai Dialogue: Good Governance Matters 2010 conference.

Dubai Dialogue has become the largest corporate social responsibility conference in the UAE, attracting more than 300 participants, Buamim said.

It is organised by the Dubai Chamber’s CRB to help the business community adopt international best practice in areas like sustainability, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and governance, in order to improve their efficiency, staff motivation and most importantly their profits, the director-general added.

The Dubai Dialogue was held in October last year and proceeding papers are available at the CRB’s website. Excerpts from the interview:

Why did you choose governance as a main topic for Dubai Dialogue?

Good governance is recognised as a cornerstone for sustainable economic growth and business development. The concept does not apply just to government entities; the private sector has a major role to play. Good governance is one that is transparent, accountable and enhances efficiency. Intrinsically linked to good governance are elements like CSR and corporate sustainability, which are the basis for long term profitability and growth. Sustainable businesses help attract foreign investment to Dubai and enhance its competitiveness in the global business arena. As Dubai aims to position itself as a global player and is working to establish itself as a hub for foreign direct investment, it is essential that the Emirate is able to offer high quality standards of governance with confidence.

Is the concept of good governance becoming more popular among businesses in Dubai?

Yes, I think much closer attention is being paid to governance issues as lessons are learned in the aftermath of the global economic crisis. Businesses are starting to see operations stabilise and as such are returning to focus on ways to grow their companies sustainably, and this includes how they are governed. It is not enough to just make a profit in today’s business environment. Companies need to consider their impact on the environment and society in which they operate. Being a good governor is taking these issues into account in order to grow their business responsibly.

How will implementing good governance affect Dubai’s business community?

High standards of corporate governance and transparency enable companies to foster trust with stakeholders and in turn help improve investor and consumer confidence. This is a big boost for all of Dubai’s business community and will help the Emirate cement its position as a leading international business hub. Meanwhile, as Dubai continues to liberalise its economy, issues of governance, transparency, and accountability have a crucial role to play in positioning the region as a credible world player.

What were the key messages from last year’s conference?

The main message was to urge business leaders to improve their governance strategy and transparency to improve investor confidence. If stronger governance had been achieved before the global financial crisis, the crisis might have had less impact for some corporations. Good governance and disclosure is vital for success in today’s marketplace and the private sector was urged to take a lead role in ensuring sustainable growth.

Can you share more details about the upcoming Dubai Dialogue?

The next Dubai Dialogue is about responsible recovery. Dubai Dialogue: Responsible Recovery will explore the lessons learned from the financial crisis and examine how a company can use the current climate to grow and develop in a sustainable way.

Could you further explain the efforts of the Dubai Chamber and the CRB to promote sustainability?

The Centre for Responsible Business was established in 2004 by Dubai Chamber to foster corporate integrity and to promote Dubai as the region’s gateway for global commerce by promoting transparency and rule of law. It is the leading center of excellence in business ethics and CSR in Dubai. Some of its main initiatives include the ENGAGE Dubai programme, a scheme to promote volunteering from the corporate sector; the CSR Label, which provides companies with a framework to help them refine and improve their CSR strategy and practice; and the Sustainability Directory, which enlists businesses offering green products and services in the UAE promote themselves internationally; as well as a number of workshops and seminars held throughout the year.

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