This week, I am embarking on what I'm sure will be an unforgettable experience. At the invitation of the Asian Confederation of Institutes of Internal Auditors (ACIIA), I will be honored to meet with our colleagues at IIA–China. Known throughout the world for its rich culture and traditions, China's vast landscape is home to a thriving internal audit profession. It will be exciting to meet with them and see first-hand the incredible success of their national institute, as well as meet with distinguished government officials, business leaders, and regulators.
While on this incredible journey, I will have the privilege to meet with Mr. Wang Dao Cheng, the top elected official with IIA–China; Madame Yi Renping, IIA–China Secretary General; Mr. Cao Zhiyong, IIA–China Deputy Secretary General; Mr. Li Jinhua, Vice Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Committee, who is Honorary IIA President and former Auditor General of the National Audit Office; and Mr. Dong Dasheng, Deputy Auditor General of the National Audit Office. I will make a presentation to the ACIIA on lessons we're learning from the current financial crisis. And I'm also looking forward to meeting leaders of the China CFO Association, as well as Dr. Shi Xian, Vice President of Nanjing Audit University, where there is a thriving IIA Internal Audit Education Partnership (IAEP) program. I will have the opportunity to speak with the chief audit executive for China Petro-Chemical Corp., and I will get a sneak preview of the site for the 2015 IIA International Conference in Beijing. Obviously this agenda is packed with several meetings and topics for discussion, and my goal is to provide warm greetings from IIA Global Headquarters and extend our hand in continued partnership and support.
It is inspiring to me that IIA–China, as well as the Chinese government, has continued to move forward with much perseverance despite recent challenges. A devastating earthquake in the Sichuan province last year claimed the lives of more than 68,000 people. This was undoubtedly a disaster that affected many of our fellow practitioners and IIA members in this part of the world. But in the face of this tragedy, this remarkable country pushed through the devastation and went on to share with the rest of the world its dynamic and colorful heritage as it hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics. And with the same tenacity, IIA–China is continuing to elevate the internal audit profession through a variety of different initiatives.
From 1998 to 2008, IIA–China has administered more than 200,000 Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) exam parts (about a third of the total exam parts administered worldwide during that period of time). With at least 14,500 internal auditors in China having earned their CIA designation, IIA–China has become one of The IIA's leading partners in advancing professionalism. They continue to produce valuable professional development resources for their practitioners, and I am looking forward to discussions on how we can assist them with exam study materials such as the CIA Learning System and the Gleim Review Online. And while we are seeking translation solutions to overcome language barriers, a new CIA exam partnership will pave the way for their continued successes with delivering internal audit certifications.
The internal audit profession is well-established in China's public sector. This is — without doubt — due in large part to the advocacy efforts of IIA–China. They are striving to educate stakeholders on the full value of internal auditing by shifting the focus of its role from traditional compliance review to risk-based auditing. They are emphasizing the importance of internal audit quality and have signed an agreement with IIA headquarters to enhance their efforts in providing quality assessment services. Additionally, IIA–China has continued to provide a large amount of training opportunities to members even though the earthquake and Olympics were the focus for most people over the past year.
Like so many of our Institutes around the world, IIA–China and the profession have felt the impact of the economic recession. I hope to learn more about the dynamics of this situation and offer our hand in sharing best practices for member recruitment strategies and value-added services that will attract new members, particularly in the private sector, during these challenging times. IIA–China, too, understands the profession's opportunities to demonstrate its value to governance and risk management in the wake of the financial crisis, and I am excited about these new opportunities. We look forward to closer involvement with them through our partnerships and meetings among the Institute's chief staff officers.
As I depart from my visit to China, I'm positive I will take with me a sense of their warm-hearted culture, with its unique merits steeped in tradition. This will not be the only stop on this outreach tour. Once I leave, I'll be headed to Japan where I'm sure to be received with equal honor and vigor for sharing ideas and excitement for The IIA. Although many differences exist culturally and professionally between the diverse IIA Institutes around the world, there are definitely a number of similarities in the challenges and opportunities we all face every day. I hope this trip will bridge what may seem as miles of geographic space between continents and cultures to find new paths for working together and elevating The IIA and the internal audit profession.