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Chief Guest’s address by BB Governor in the Regional Standard Setters (RSS) Conference at Dhaka on 28th Nov 2011

Dr. Atiur Rahman

Governor, Bangladesh Bank

Distinguished Session chairperson, President and members of the ICAB Council, honorable Chairman of the IASB, President SAFA, other distinguished guests and participants, ladies and gentlemen, Assalamu Alaikum and a very good morning to you all.

I am very delighted to be with you this morning in this South Asian regional conference on convergence of accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards. Even as an outsider to the accounting profession, I see this is a subject of far reaching importance in forging and consolidating South Asia’s investment and trade relationships within itself and with the rest of the world.

In its emerging role as a significant hub of global growth, South Asia will need to attract massive volumes of equity and loan investments; intra regional cross border investments within South Asia will be growing; and South Asian investments outside the region will also be rising gradually with increasing openness. Intra and extra regional trade will expand in tandem with increasing openness in investment relationships. For these intra and extra regional investment and trade relationships to thrive, regional and international harmonization and convergence of accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards and practices are important requisites. I am much heartened to see the ICAB and SAFA alert and active in this direction; amply evidenced by their invitation of IASB Chairman Mr. Hans Hoogervorst to deliver the keynote address in this conference.

At Bangladesh Bank we have adopted IAS as our accounting standards and IFRS as our financial reporting standards as far back as 2003; and we are looking forward to the work in ICAB towards full convergence of the local accounting and auditing standards in our financial and real sector with the international best practice standards. This is important because foreign investors will feel comfortable with joint venture and lending relationships with their counterparts in Bangladesh only when they are satisfied about the completeness and transparency of financial statements and disclosures of the local partners. Bangladesh Bank is gradually imposing more demanding financial reporting and the disclosure requirements for bank and financial institutions in closer convergence with international best practice standards; and would be happy to support ICAB in taking the convergence processes faster forward in the coming days, in the real as well as the financial sectors.

It is also relevant to bear in mind that the international standards themselves are not necessarily cast in stone, and need to evolve with the changing global business and financial environment. One evidence still fresh in memory is in the difficulties compounded by fair value accounting rules in the recent global financial crisis when markets and their pricing mechanisms froze up altogether. Global and regional dialogues on accounting and auditing standards are therefore ongoing processes, and I look forward to seeing our ICAB and SAFA proactively and productively engaged in these regional and global dialogues. Such dialogues can greatly facilitate the quest for smooth transition paths from extant local practices in country jurisdictions to the prevailing international best practices.

I am sure all of us in this audience will benefit vastly from the valuable key note address awaited from the IASB Chairman, and the discussion sessions that will follow. Let me conclude here with my congratulations to ICAB for organizing this conference, my best wishes for its all round success, and my thanks to all of you for your patient attention. Press Release

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