Sound corporate governance is a means of supporting the drivers of economic growth: efficient capital markets, quality investment and a favourable business climate. Achieving the economic ambitions of Middle East-North Africa (MENA) economies can be supported by ongoing improvements in corporate governance policies and practices and an alignment with international standards.

Ensuring a sound corporate governance framework goes beyond enhancing company performance and access to capital. Fostering an environment of trust, transparency and accountability is integral to boosting capital market development and competitiveness. In the context of increasingly integrated global capital markets, where institutional investors are more present,, it is essential to improve overall governance, transparency and disclosure, to facilitate access to capital and to increase gender balance on boards.

MENA economies have undertaken reforms to encourage sound corporate governance practices. However, progress takes time. The number of women on corporate boards remains low. Other challenges include the reporting and disclosure of board information (remuneration, qualifications, etc.); the protection of minority investors; related party transactions; and beneficial ownership structures. Access to corporate finance also remains limited in some economies, and improvements in the governance of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) are needed. Targeted reforms in these areas will contribute both to enhancing company performance and to boosting the region’s potential for inclusive growth and competitiveness.

This publication presents the recent evolution of MENA corporate governance frameworks and practices in four thematic areas: access to capital; transparency and disclosure; gender balance in corporate leadership; and governance of SOEs. These topics are addressed in reference to the G20/OECD Principles of Corporate Governance and the OECD Guidelines on Corporate Governance of SOEs. Each chapter identifies common challenges and proposes policy reforms. The experiences and practices of OECD countries are also presented throughout the report to enrich the analysis, and each chapter identifies key opportunities for increasing the capacities of relevant authorities and institutions overseeing corporate governance policies.

The report draws upon extensive research, policy discussions at the international and regional levels, and insights from national experts through focus groups. It contributes to a growing body of OECD work aimed at fostering sound corporate governance in MENA economies with the aim of furthering the region’s development and prosperity.



Dr. Obaid Saif Al Zaabi

Chief Executive Officer

Securities & Commodities Authority

United Arab Emirates



Ms. Gabriela Figueiredo Dias


Comissão do Mercado de Valores Mobiliários (CMVM)


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