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beginning of all national

1993. 7/ These

regulators

can

principles may provide a basis

recognize

foreign

company

on which financial

statements prepared in accordance with those international standards,

This process, though important and providing an opportunity, for

a real break-through, does not by any means guarantee that

harmonization will be achieved at all, not to mention in a particularly

timely

manner.

capitalize

on

this

Thus,

period

it

of

is

imperative

opportunity.

that

efforts

The

United

be

undertaken

States

must

do

to

its

share in making international accounting harmonization a reality.

I would like to spend the next few minutes dlscusslng the need

for harmonization of accounting standards and, in particular, what the

relevant

U.S.

entities,

including

principally

regulators

and

standard

setters, should do to help achieve the important goal of harmonization

in as expeditious a time frame as possible.

II.

HARMONIZATION AND ITS BENEFITS

The benefits of harmonization have been frequently noted, but are

sufficiently important to merit a brief review.

From the point of view of the Securities

and

Exchange

Commission, as an agency one of whose primary functions is to protect

investors, an extremely valuable benefit of harmonization would be the

7/

lASe, .statement of Intent: Comparability

of Financial Statements

8 (July 1990).

4

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