Istanbul Hosts ‘Olympics’ for Accountants

The world’s accountants are gathered in Istanbul for the World Congress of Accountants (WCOA), known as the Olympics of Accountants, to discuss pressing challenges facing the profession worldwide, while looking ahead to the future.


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Turkey's Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaking at the conference, predicted that Turkey will become the sixth greatest economy in Europe in 10 years. He said he is pleased with new Spanish interests in the country. "We want to see more Spanish investments in Turkey, as we progress on the road to the EU," he said, according to Sabah, a Turkish newspaper.

Held every four years, the World Congress of Accountants attracts roughly 5,000 regulators, standard-setters, accountants and others, from every corner of the profession. “Accountants: Generating Economic Growth and Stability Worldwide,” is the theme of this year’s conference by the International Federation of Accountants (IFOA). It began Monday and runs through Nov. 16, and is considered the profession’s largest independent international gathering.

Speakers include International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) chairman Sir David Tweedie, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) chief executive Sam DiPiazza, UK’s Mary Keegan, the managing director of government and financial management at HM Treasury and Wang Jun, vice minister, Chinese ministry of finance.

Sabah also reported that the conference is expected to generate about 20 million Euros in tourist income. Istanbul has become increasingly attractive as an international conference destination over the past couple of years, the newspaper reported. The city hosted 10,000 doctors from around the world last month.

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