South Africa’s leading international role in implementing integrated reporting can be used to attract foreign investment in to the country, according to talks due to take place in Johannesburg and Cape Town next week, (25-28 July).
The new Chief Executive of the global coalition for integrated reporting – on his first visit to the country since taking up post – will discuss how the practice can boost confidence amongst international investors in meetings with South African business, academics and regulators.
Richard Howitt, CEO of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) will be hosted by South Africa’s renowned chair of the IIRC, Professor Mervyn King, and at the invitation of the CEO of the Integrated Reporting Committee of South Africa (IRC), Leigh Roberts.
Integrated reporting is both a broader but also a more concise approach which is improving business reporting to advance the overarching principles of financial stability and sustainable development.
The IIRC chief will be a keynote speaker at next week’s Annual Conference on Integrated Reporting organised by the IRC of South Africa to be held at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) on Thursday 27 July.
Howitt will also discuss how South Africa can play a greater regional role in advancing integrated reporting and the country’s participation in the newly formed African Integrated Reporting Committee founded by the Pan African Federation of Accountants.
Richard Howitt says:
“Investors including Aviva, BlackRock, Deutsche Asset Management, Standard Life and UBS have played a key role in drawing up and now are driving implementation of the International Integrated Reporting Framework.
“There is clear evidence that integrated reporting enables easier and lower cost access to international capital markets, and the next phase in its development here can presage greater foreign investment to support local business and jobs.
“South Africa has pioneered integrated reporting internationally, which is now being practised by well over 1,500 global companies in more than 60 countries.
“Just as South Africa is helping the world develop these new standards of good corporate governance, the world can help South African companies themselves reap the benefit.“
Leigh Roberts added:
“Many listed companies in South Africa have prepared integrated reports since 2011 and they can be proud of the high regard in which they are held internationally.
“Integrated reporting has afforded clear communication benefits – it’s a concise read giving a holistic and strategic view of the company – but it’s also brought the benefits of greater understanding of all the resources and relationships relied on by the business, improved risk disclosure and other management benefits.“
During his visit Richard Howitt will also meet the Institute of Directors South Africa, Business Unity South Africa, the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants and a round table of South African academics.
Two days of the visit will be accompanied by Caroline Rees, from the UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework, on which Richard Howitt serves as a member of its Eminent Persons’ Group. The pair will explore how integrated reporting can help South African business implement UN Sustainable Development Goals and promote business and human rights.