According to the MOU, the Beijing office, established as a representative office of the Foundation, is expected to open in mid-2023 and will work in collaboration and cooperation with other IFRS Foundation offices around the globe, with staff focused on leading and executing the ISSB’s strategy for emerging and developing economies, acting as a hub for stakeholder engagement in Asia, facilitating deeper co-operation and engagement with stakeholders, and undertaking capacity building activities for emerging economies, developing countries and SMEs. The office will host meetings of the ISSB and its various advisory bodies.
Vice Minister Zhu stressed at the ceremony that “the signing of the MOU marks a milestone in the deepening of cooperation between China MOF and the Foundation. We hope that it will serve as the beginning of a new journey that will witness closer collaboration between the two sides towards development and promotion of ISSB’s high-quality international sustainability disclosure standards. Let us work together to bring the Beijing Office fully into shape as soon as possible, build it into a hub for engagement, cooperation, capacity building and innovation in our common effort to contribute to the global sustainable development.
The Deputy Mayor of the Beijing Municipal Government Cui Shuqiang said that “We welcome the Foundation’s decision to set up an office in Beijing, well in line with the city’s aspiration to establish itself as a hub for international engagement. We will continue to steadfastly support the endeavors of the Foundation and China MOF, provide assistance and facilitation to ensure the successful establishment and operation of the Beijing Office, stay committed to the philosophy of green development and build our city into a paragon of sustainable development.”
Chair Liikanen said that “when we announced the ISSB at COP26, we confirmed the new board would have a global presence through a multi-location model. The announcement of the Beijing Office is an important step towards the establishment of our global footprint in the ISSB’s inaugural year. I would like to thank our Chinese colleagues for their commitment to the work of the ISSB and look forward to the successful opening of the office in 2023. ”
Chair Faber emphasized that “China is the world’s second largest economy and plays a vital role in supply chains for companies around the world – making it an important jurisdiction as the ISSB develops its global baseline of sustainability disclosures for the capital markets. The Beijing Office will play a vital role in this endeavour.”
The Foundation is a non-for-profit organization based in London. It hosts the IASB in charge of developing IFRS accounting standards which have been adopted by more than 140 jurisdictions including the EU, Australia and Canada and been recognized by important economies such as the US and Japan. For more than two decades, China MOF has attached great importance to exchanges and cooperation with the Foundation and maintained close communications with it with regard to setting of a single set of high-quality global accounting standards as well as convergence of Chinese accounting standards with the IFRS accounting standards. Such efforts have born great fruits including successful convergence of Chinese accounting standards with international standards in 2006 and continual alignment progress since then, which has facilitated Chinese companies’ “going global” strategies and strengthened capital market connectivity between China and the rest of the world.
The Foundation announced the establishment of ISSB, the sister board to the IASB, at COP26 on Nov.3, 2021. The ISSB is tasked to develop a global baseline of high-quality sustainability disclosure standards that are universally recognized and easy to understand and implement. Since its inception, ISSB has made a series of accomplishments including consolidating CDSB and VRF, both leading investor-focussed sustainability disclosure organisations, initiating collaboration with GRI as well as publishing two Exposure Drafts of sustainability disclosure standards developed based on widely-accepted existing standards such as TCFD and SASB standards. These achievements have earned attention and recognition from the international community.