The first workshop of the China-Central Asia Accounting Elites Exchange Programme officially kicked off at the Shanghai National Accounting Institute. The programme, proposed jointly by the Shanghai National Accounting Institute (SNAI), the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Institute (CI) and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), was announced as one of the important outcomes of the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held in Beijing in April this year.
The programme consists of four workshops in a two-year cycle, targeting officials from departments in the accounting field in China and Central Asia, as well as professionals from companies, industry associations, accountancy firms and other accounting theory and practice circles. It will organise symposia, training sessions and field visits with in-depth discussions on topics such as the development of accounting standards, talent cultivation, regulation, the development of accounting service industry, new technology and the development of the accounting sector.
Nearly 30 experts from the accounting standards setting departments, accounting regulators, and accountancy profession of all 11 CAREC countries including China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Georgia attended the first workshop.
Li Kouqing, President of SNAI, Iskandar Abdullaev, Deputy Director of CI and Ada Leung, Director of ACCA Greater China attended the opening ceremony and delivered speeches.
Speaking about the programme and ACCA’s continuous role in promoting opportunities around the Belt and Road Initiative, Sajjeed Aslam, head of ACCA Pakistan said,
“China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a great economic opportunity for Pakistan. The accounting professionals have a duty to promote the ‘Belt and Road’ connectivity to assist governments and businesses to do more trade with other BRI countries. With strong presence in the region, ACCA will continue to play a leading role.”
In his speech, Li Kouqing said that strengthening the construction of ‘accounting infrastructure’ is vital for improving economic development. A sound accounting infrastructure can promote a country’s growth and stability. Specifically, the accounting infrastructure consists of three factors, namely accounting standard system, accounting regulatory framework and accounting talent system. Accounting standard system sets the criteria for accounting method and finance report, aiming to improve the unification, factuality and comparability. Accounting regulatory framework is made up of several forces such as government and society to supervise and manage the accounting work, aiming to guarantee the factuality and completeness and accounting information. Accounting talent system provides the foundation and key to develop, improve and implement the standards and supervise the accounting work.
At present there are differences in accounting standards and accounting professionals of the Belt and Road countries including Central Asian countries. Li Kouqing said: ‘The accounting standards are like the railways of the world. Some are with wide tracks, some are with narrow tracks, and others are with standard tracks. When goods move from one country to another country, you need to unload them and then load them again. Because the tracks are different and the rules are different, the cost of the transaction will be greatly increased.’ Promoting the connectivity of accounting infrastructure should be a due part of the ‘Belt and Road’ cooperation, and an unshirkable duty for the accountancy profession.
Focus on Central Asia to improve its accounting infrastructure
This July, Shanghai National Accounting Institute, joining hands with ZTE New Cloud Service Co., Ltd. and ACCA, and under the auspices of the institute’s ‘Belt and Road’ Accounting Research Centre, conducted research on accounting infrastructure in Central Asia to support the implementation of the programme. Studies have shown that some countries’ accounting infrastructure cannot keep up with their economic development. And due to differences in national conditions, the development of accounting infrastructure varies greatly from country to country, and the connectivity between them is poor. This has affected economic development and trade. As Central Asian countries have become more deeply involved in the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative, local economies have become more integrated into regional and global economic development. To better integrate with the international community and attract foreign investment, many countries in Central Asia are taking measures to strengthen accounting infrastructure.
Join hands to build a knowledge exchange platform for accounting infrastructure
The implementation of the China-Central Asia Accounting Elites Exchange Programme is an achievement of joint efforts.
Iskandar Abdullaev, Deputy Director of CI, a regional international think tank for knowledge cooperation, said that since its establishment, CAREC has promoted trade and transportation in Central Asia, and improved the investment environment in Central Asia. Many efforts have been made to provide financing for some regional projects, making substantial progress and important contributions to the development of Central Asia.
CAREC programme is committed to promoting connectivity and achieving shared prosperity. As a common international business language and an important ‘soft infrastructure’, accounting can serve as a bridge for economic exchanges between countries. The China-Central Asia Accounting Elites Exchange Programme will promote the sharing of knowledge and experience in the construction of accounting infrastructure between China and the countries of Central Asia, and will also promote the coordinated development of and cooperation among CAREC member countries.
As a global professional accountancy body, ACCA also plays a key role as a super connector globally, conducting substantial work on preparation and research for the programme through its international network and expertise.
Ada Leung, Director, ACCA Greater China, said that ACCA is one of the pioneers in exploring the impact of the ‘Belt and Road’ Initiative on China, the global economy and the development of the accountancy profession.
ACCA is honoured to jointly conduct the programme with its partners, and will continue to carry out a series of studies with partners such as the Shanghai National Accounting Institute and further discuss the opportunities and challenges for the accounting profession, businesses and governments brought by the ‘Belt and Road’ Initiative, supporting the implementation of the China-Central Asia Accounting Elites Exchange Programme.
The five-day workshop will conduct in-depth and continuous exchanges and discussions on issues such as the construction of accounting infrastructure, the development and coordination of accounting standards through lectures, experience sharing by various countries, field visits to enterprises, and online communication. The workshop will also establish a platform for exchange between international accounting talents in China and accounting elites in Central Asia.
The programme will also hold workshops in China and Central Asian countries in 2020 and 2021