18 October 2022

ISSB vice chair Hua's strategy for promoting standards in global south

Jingdon Hua

Jingdon Hua, second vice-chair of the ISSB, laid out his plans to develop and implement the ISSB standards in emerging and developing economies during an allocution to the IFRS Consultative Committee last Thursday (13 October).

Hua joined the board at the start of October and part of his responsibilities is to head the ISSB’s strategy for developing countries and SMEs.

“The work is daunting and [a] monumental challenge so I'm very honoured to be given this important position,” he said.

He outlined the importance of developing economies (EMs) to the ISSB, saying that it would not fulfil its purpose without the commitment of EMs and that the standards should help drive investments in these economies.

EMs have already shown a strong support for the ISSB’s standards, Hua argued, but there is “a long distance to travel” to translate these commitments into mandatory standards for companies.

He highlighted three areas to facilitate that endorsement. First, optimise sustainability standards for SMEs as non-listed companies make up 80% of the economy in the global south.

Second, Hua said: “We need to be able to offer capacity ability and at many different levels, to the regulator's and even to the accounting association, because we need to develop the skill set for certified public accountant, and, of course, prepares and investors.”

Finally, he said a key to success was to “embrace digital technology as the enabler” for lowering adoption costs for companies in emerging economies.

Moving forwards with these strategies, Hua said he would engage with members of the consultative committee to form a high-level strategy after the COP 27 climate change conference (6-18 November).