The Taiwan Monthly

Dec. 2020

Corporate Governance

Taiwan ranking up to 4th in the CG Watch 2020, the best since 2003

The Taiwan Stock Exchange states that in the morning of November 25 the Asian Corporate Governance Association (“ACGA”) released its “CG Watch 2020” in Hong Kong, a biennial investigation and rating survey on corporate governance performance in the Asian markets.  This report publishes all the evaluation results for the year 2020. Among 12 Asian Markets, Taiwan corporate governance is ranked 4th, second only to Australia, Hong Kong, and Singapore.  Compared to the previous ranking in “CG Watch 2018”, Taiwan rises in the ranking from 5th to 4th place, the best since 2003. In his speech, the ACGA chairman highlighted that ACGA is holding the second live online streaming video in Taipei due to strong epidemic containment measures in Taiwan.


The ACGA 2020 survey compares and ranks the corporate governance level of 12 Asian markets by examining seven categories: “government and public governance”, “regulators”, “CG rules”, “listed companies”, “investors”, “auditors and audit regulators”, “civil society and media”, a total of 119 questions.  In ordered sequence follows the 2020 ranking and scoring of every country: Australia (74.7), Hong Kong (63.5), Singapore (63.2), Taiwan (62.2), Malaysia (59.5), Japan (59.3), India (58.2), Thailand (56.6), Korea (52.9), China (43), Philippines (39), and Indonesia (33.6).  In comparison to the “CG Watch 2018”, among the 12 rated markets three countries have progressed; seven countries have maintained their previous position; and two countries have regressed.  Taiwan has made a concerted effort over the past two years to enhance its CG ecosystem and moves from 5th to 4th, edging ever closer to Hong Kong and Singapore. 

 

 Figure 1.

Market rankings: CG Watch 2018 and 2020

2020

2018

1. Australia

1. Australia

2.Hong Kong、Singapore

2. Hong Kong

3. --

3. Singapore

4. Taiwan

4. Malaysia

5. Malaysia、Japan

5. Taiwan

6. --

6. Thailand

7. India

7. Japan、India

8. Thailand

8. --

9. Korea

9. Korea

10. China

10.China

11. Philippines

11. Philippines

12. Indonesia

12. Indonesia

Source: Asian Corporate Governance Association

 

“CG Watch 2020” awarded Taiwan a total aggregate scores of 62.2%, being the country’s highest score since the first ACGA CG Watch became effective in 2003.  Compared to 2018, Taiwan has improved 6.2%, the biggest progress among the progressed markets and improved in all seven categories.  Also noteworthy is that Taiwan’s score had already increased yearly in CG Watch, demonstrating that the effectiveness of CG initiatives performed by Taiwan’s competent authorities since the “2013 Corporate Governance Roadmap” has received high recognition by international corporate governance institutions. The “CG Watch 2020” report mentioned that “In late August 2020 the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC), its peak financial regulator, announced a new plan for corporate governance titled, “Corporate Governance 3.0 – Sustainable Development Roadmap”. This was described as a “bid to enhance the sustainable development of companies” and to “establish a comprehensive Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) ecosystem, strengthening the international competitiveness of Taiwan’s capital markets”.”

 

“CG Watch 2020” reflects a positive recognition concerning the CG reform in Taiwan. In the “Government & Public Governance” category, Taiwan and Australia are ranked first. Taiwan had a concerted government efforts to align their regulatory regime to their commitment to CG policy, focus more on bank governance, and raise standards of state enterprise governance and disclosure. In particular, ACGA recognized the excellent performance of Taiwan’s ESG. Taiwan enhanced its commitment considerably in 2014 when it mandated listed companies in the food, finance and chemicals sectors, as well as those with the largest share capitalizations, to produce reports in line with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standard. Taiwan meanwhile has broadened its rule on GRI-aligned reporting to around 225 of the largest listed companies and accounting for around 80% of Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE) market cap. But many companies do it voluntarily: the total tally is now 486, of which 368 are listed on the TWSE and another 118 on the smaller company Taipei Exchange. Additionally, Taiwan has quite robust civil societies, improved 11 points compared to 2018, with non-governmental groups playing an important role in promoting CG and ESG, undertaking training, and contributing to regulatory consultations and government committees.

 

The Taiwan Stock Exchange has underlined that good corporate governance is the most important foundation for a sound capital market, and it is also the key to attract long-term investors.  Competent and judicial authorities, listed companies, institutional investors and corporate governance related agencies have their roles to play in the corporate governance ecosystem.  In the future, the Taiwan Stock Exchange and the Corporate Governance Center will continue to cooperate with the ecosystem members to promote industry related measures, continuously promote the “Corporate Governance 3.0-Sustainable Development Roadmap” to further achieve the implementation of corporate governance, enhance the sustainable development of enterprises, build a sound ESG ecosystem and strengthen the core international competitiveness of the capital market.

 

For further inquiries, please contact Ms. Chang at 1087@twse.com.tw