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ISLAMABAD: The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) and the Pakistan Institute of Corporate Governance (PICG) Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation, collaboration, and capacity development for strengthening corporate governance and competition compliance in Pakistan.

The MoU was signed by CCP Chairperson Rahat Kaunain Hassan and PICG Chief Executive Officer Ahsan Jamil in a ceremony at the CCP’s head office in Islamabad, also attended by Dr Shamshad Akhtar, Chairperson PICG Board of Directors, CCP Members Shaista Bano, Bushra Naz Malik, Mujtaba Ahmad Lodhi, and other senior officers.

Addressing on the occasion, CCP Chairperson Rahat Kaunain Hassan welcomed the support of PICG in joining hands with the CCP through signing of the MoU. She stated that corporate governance and competition principles are intertwined. There is commonality of objective in that both regulate human behaviour and promote fair play.

She further stated that the collaboration aims at promoting good governance, ensuring corrective behaviour and sustainable compliance through advocacy measures and trainings for the corporate sector. In the face of the increasing complexity of corporate arrangements, this would help create awareness on the internal and external drivers of collusion or anti-competitive practices. It would also enable the corporations towards better strategic planning.

Dr Shamshad Akhtar, in her remarks, said the PICG board has envisioned to bring a new dynamism in the PICG with the aim to improve corporate governance in Pakistan. She welcomed the signing of MoU between PICG and CCP, saying the prevailing conditions in public and private sectors require more of such partnerships. “I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with the Competition Commission of Pakistan. This MoU will greatly help to reinforce the respective mandates of CCP and PICG,” she said.

Ahsan Jamil in his remarks said the importance of free and fair competition for productivity, exports growth and global competitiveness could not be overstated. Similarly, good corporate governance is beneficial for businesses as it reduces cost, ensures fair play and protects businesses from undesirable outcomes. PICG is looking forward to working with CCP in promoting good corporate governance and competition law compliance. He mentioned several initiatives that PICG is taking to improve corporate governance in Pakistan including a strong SME governance focus, the co-creation of an ESG Task Force and forging a corporate Governance research agenda. The collaboration between the CCP and PICG will be extremely beneficial in promoting good corporate governance and competition law compliance.

The MoU will not only allow both parties to exchange information on pertinent issues, but also work together in undertaking advocacy, research, and training initiatives to promote public awareness of the Competition Act and the Listed Companies (Corporate Governance) Regulations, 2019.

The collaboration aims to improve awareness of the competition law landscape and a commitment to compliance within organisations. Furthermore, both parties will hold collaborative sessions on competition law, promoting compliance and organisational governance, and assist each other in matters of mutual interest for better implementation of their respective mandates.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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