IFRS Foundation opens ISSB office in Beijing

First ISSB meeting in China to take place in November

The IFRS Foundation, which develops global accounting and sustainability disclosure standards, has opened an ISSB (International Sustainability Standards Board) office in Beijing.

ISSB was launched at COP26, when the Foundation also announced plans for the board’s ‘global footprint’ in the form of offices in Beijing, Frankfurt and San Francisco, in addition to existing IFRS offices in London and Tokyo.

See also: – ISSB standards to be rolled out January 2024

The opening of the office in China follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Foundation and the Ministry of Finance of China in December 2022.

The Beijing office will collaborate with the Foundation’s other offices in supporting the ISSB’s work, focusing on leading and executing the ISSB’s strategy for emerging and developing economies; acting as a hub for stakeholder engagement in Asia; facilitating deeper cooperation and engagement with stakeholders; and undertaking capacity-building activities for emerging economies, developing countries and SMEs.

First events in China

The office will host the first meeting of the ISSB in China in mid-November. The IFRS Foundation will also work with local partners to co-host its first sustainability-focused conference in China in the same week.

The Beijing office will be run by Zhengwei Zhang, who has been appointed as Beijing office director and special adviser to the ISSB chair, Emmanuel Faber.

Zhang, a qualified accountant, was most recently director-general at the Ministry of Finance of China. He has more than 20 years of leadership experience in international economic and financial cooperation, covering sustainable development, financial stability and regional economic cooperation and integration.

He also has experience in development finance, having worked for the Asian Development Bank, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and other investment firms.

Commenting on the opening of the office, Erkki Liikanen, chair of the IFRS Foundation Trustees, said he was delighted to work with IFRS’ Chinese partners to open the Beijing office, adding: “China is an important jurisdiction in enabling the ISSB’s delivery of a global baseline of sustainability disclosures to meet the information needs of investors.”

See also: – China waits on ISSB for mandatory ESG disclosures

Zhongming Zhu, China’s vice minister of finance, added: “China is fully committed to supporting the work of the ISSB and the development of global sustainability-disclosure standards. We welcome the IFRS Foundation and the ISSB to Beijing and look forward to supporting the development of the office into a hub for engagement, cooperation, capacity building and innovation.”

Linmao Xia, vice mayor of Beijing, said: “Beijing Municipality Government will work with the Ministry of Finance of China to provide support for the IFRS Foundation Beijing office. It will also actively support the promotion and application of the IFRS sustainability disclosure standards.”