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Disclosure and transparency are critical for attracting capital and building resilient enterprises in emerging markets. Transparent corporate reporting, integrating financial and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) information, increases trust and confidence for investors, as it provides critical insights into how companies manage their operations and make decisions relevant to pursuing opportunities and managing risks. Corporate reporting may also shed light on how companies create different types of long-term value, including contributions to addressing societal crises, such as the current pandemic.

This webinar aims to help emerging market companies understand how to report better to investors and other key stakeholders, building on IFC’s award-winning Disclosure and Transparency Toolkit “Beyond the Balance Sheet.”

Objectives of the webinar: 

(i) Demonstrate the strategic value and demand for corporate reporting and disclosure practices.

(ii) Provide practical guidance, tools and resources for integrating financial and ESG reporting practices in emerging markets; and

(iii) Further develop and support regional capacity building resources, networks, and partnerships.

NOTE: This event already took place. The news release on this event can be found here.

IFC and UN SSE Host Transparency Seminar in EAP to Boost Corporate Resilience, Attract Capital

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, attracted 400 representatives of central banks, stock exchanges, universities and companies from 42 countries in East Asia and Pacific (EAP) for the first EAP environmental, social and governance (ESG) advisory webinar “Going Beyond the Balance Sheet” on the importance of ESG disclosure and transparency.

The seminar was organized in partnership with the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative (UN SSE), a network of 96 stock exchanges and regulators.

Opening remarks by Vivek Pathak, IFC’s Regional Director for East Asia and the Pacific, introduced the award-winning “Beyond the Balance Sheet” toolkit as a source of practical guidance for improved disclosure and transparency (D&T) practices and the importance of the collaboration with UN SSE. “I greatly look forward to many more East Asia Pacific countries adopting these tools to help their companies become more attractive to investors,” he said. Referring to the COVID-19 pandemic, he stated, “It is absolutely critical” for companies to communicate with investors and stakeholders about how they are managing the crisis. Transparency of the highest standard will differentiate how companies come out of this pandemic.”

Presentations from IFC panelists, Robeco Group and the Indonesia Investment Fund addressed questions about the business case for disclosure and transparency and how companies build resilient enterprises in the new environment.

Challenges for investors include gaining access to high quality, comparable information. ESG transparency is often the starting point for change, leading to better risk informed investment decisions and better risk-adjusted returns. Companies are advised to increase forward-looking strategy information in their reporting (25% or more), linking strategic ESG objectives to governance and performance information. Investors are looking for value creation, and they want to be able to trust the company, its leadership and its activities. The performance report allows companies to tell their story beyond the balance sheet. IFC works holistically with companies, investors and regulators, and in partnership with the UNSSE, to demystify and streamline ESG reporting practices. IFC’s step-by-step guidance for integrating ESG into strategy, governance and performance helps companies to progress from basic reporting practices to international standards.

Next steps include using AI technologies to make these tools and progressive approaches available on a dynamic Disclosure and Transparency platform to help companies develop comprehensive integrated reports that incorporate the ESG and financial information, to reach as many as possible. The EAP ESG team is looking forward to rolling out the local translations of the toolkit (much interest from the chat), launching the D&T Platform and working with clients (both stock exchanges and companies) in collaboration with UN SSE.



Jointly hosted by SSE and IFC

Asia Pacific ESG Advisory Webinar Series #1

Thu, June 18, 2020

12:30 Hong Kong Time (HKT)