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Welcome Address by Mrs Lim Hwee Hua, Minister in Prime Minister's Office, Second Minister for Finance & Transport, at the International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators Plenary Meeting on 14 September 2009 at 6.30 pm at Meritus Mandarin Hotel

14 Sep 2009
Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

Good evening,

1. A very warm welcome to all of you to Singapore. It is a joy indeed to have friends visiting us from all over.

2. I hope you have had a very productive first day of discussion at this IFIAR plenary meeting.

About the current times and the need for quality financial reporting and auditing

3. The current economic and financial environment has led to some intense discussions on what the ?right? regulatory approach should be regarding financial reporting. On a global scale, governments and financial services regulators have taken decisive measures to boost public confidence and maintain the stability of the capital markets. In many leading jurisdictions, corporate and audit regulators are also actively maintaining a close watch on the quality and rigour of the financial reporting and auditing landscape.

Audit Regulation in an Increasingly Globalised World

4. One of the recent developments in the auditing environment is that a number of the larger international accounting networks have made organizational changes across geographical boundaries. For example, the partners of KPMG Commonwealth of Independent States* and KPMG Turkey have voted to join KPMG Europe. This will place the partners from these firms alongside their counterparts from the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands.

5. This development is a reflection of the issues arising from increased cross-border audits and audit regulation. Therein lies the value of platforms such as IFIAR, which helps to facilitate the exchange of knowledge as well as the provision of valuable insights on current regulatory issues. An effective audit regulation in a globalised world will require closer cooperation and more effective dialogues between all key stakeholders in the capital markets which are inter-connected on a global scale.

About IFIAR as a meaningful platform for like-minded regulators

6. I understand that IFIAR was formed from a roundtable of like-minded regulators, with the common mission of enhancing audit quality. Since IFIAR's formation in September 2006 by its twelve founding members, it has made steady and commendable progress, with the appointment of Office-bearers, the adoption of an IFIAR Charter, the broadening of IFIAR's reach to 32 Members and, more recently, the establishment of an Advisory Council.

7. It is heartening to note that the regular dialogues at IFIAR level have evolved into a meaningful platform for audit regulators from all over the world to discuss the various perspectives on common issues which are close to all our hearts. With an increasing number of jurisdictions recognizing the merits of independent audit regulation as well as the benefit of mutual reliance on the auditor oversight regime of peer regulators, it is likely that the IFIAR's scope would broaden further in the coming years ahead.

How ACRA has benefited much from knowledge sharing at IFIAR

8. ACRA's participation at IFIAR has been a fruitful one. I have been informed that through its direct involvement at IFIAR plenary meetings, audit inspection workshops and in the working group on audit quality, ACRA was able to both benefit from and contribute to the sharing of good practices in audit regulation. I


10. In conclusion, I wish you a fruitful meeting for the next two days, and a delightful and uniquely Singapore experience for the rest of your visit here.

11. Thank you.

* KPMG CIS consist of Russia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Georgia.