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  ISSUE No. 65
Interview of Ms. Clairette
Ah- Hen, Chief Executive, FSC
Do you believe there is the need for clear corporate governance measures for international financial centres?

Good governance is the key...for development.

  • Without good governance, you will not attract capital flows needed for development; international operators will not set up their business in such centres because of reputation risk.
  • For an IFC to develop, what governance means must be clear and explicit in all dimensions, namely political, economic and institutional.
  • Basically the ingredients that build CREDIBILITY - TRUST and CONFIDENCE.

How does the FSC ensure that corporate governance principles are implemented in Mauritius? 

FSC Mauritius is the integrated regulator for non-banking financial services and global business.
The policies of the Commission are geared to safeguarding the reputation of our jurisdiction and ensuring fairness, accountability and transparency, considered as pillars of Corporate Governance and also referred to as the ‘regulation of conduct’.

These policies are implemented at various stages:-

  • in rules, codes and guidelines issued, for example our circular on implementation of the code, circular on directorship, reminding directors of their duties and responsibilities
  • at licensing stage, as part of the licensing conditions
  • at post-licensing stage when approval of the FSC is required for appointment of directors and change in shareholders, during reviews of statutory returns and when carrying out on-site inspections; and
  • through enforcement actions if there is non-compliance with laws.

FSC also collaborates with other authorities and institutions, for example with

  • The Bank of Mauritius – for financial stability and prudential matters (both institutions are member of the FSB – RCG of the Sub-Saharan Africa)
  • The Financial Reporting Council which has oversight over financial reporting and corporate governance by public interest entities and auditors.
  • The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) for AML/CFT efforts (Combating Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing)

Another important aspect of implementation - we consult our stakeholders and their associations on new developments, international requirements and standards and new laws.

We conduct workshops to build the capacity needed to meet the changing landscape.

Are the corporate governance principles implemented in Mauritius in observance of international norms and standards?

As I stated earlier, I believe better governance leads to higher economic growth.
For economic development we need investors, institutions and all other operators to believe in our financial system. Just ‘saying so’ is not enough. Governance can now be measured – the IMF has aggregate governance indicators which measure various dimensions of governance, such as

  • voice and accountability;
  • political stability and the absence of major violence and terror;
  • government effectiveness;
  • regulatory quality;
  • rule of law; and
  • control of corruption.

We also have the Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance –which looks at

  • Safety and rule of law;
  • Participation and Human Rights;
  • Sustainable Economic Development; and
  • Human development

At a micro level –enterprise – Our Code of Corporate Governance is based on OECD principles – that is, it deals with

  • Responsibilities of the Board
  • Disclosure and Transparency
  • Shareholders’ rights and ownership
  • Equitable treatment of shareholders
  • Role of Stakeholders
  • Enforcement and Institutional Framework

The Mauritius Corporate Governance Policy framework is assessed by Peers and International institutions. A first assessment - World Bank ROSC (Report on Observance of Standards and Codes) was done in 2002 and updated in 2010. Such assessments allow us and investors to benchmark the Corporate Governance practices in Mauritius against international standards and bring the necessary improvements.

There isn’t one model and it is not a ‘one size fits all’, but most adhere to the same principles, namely accountability, fairness and transparency.

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