Business Mirror / Top Stories
By Cai U. Ordinario
THE Asian Development Bank (ADB) has joined the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in urging governments to disclose revenues they received from oil, gas and mining in order to promote transparency and fight corruption.
The ADB will thus encourage its developing member-countries to adopt the principles of the initiative, including the recognition that natural resources should be translated into equitable economic growth within the recommended transparency and accountability frameworks.
“It is widely recognized that while large public-sector revenues from extractive industries hold great potential for economic growth and poverty reduction, if transparency and accountability are weak, extractive industries can lead to exacerbation of poverty, corruption and conflict,” Ursula Schaefer-Preuss, ADB vice president for knowledge management and sustainable development, said in a statement.
“ADB’s support of this initiative will help ensure that wealth generated from natural resources is used to enhance a country’s economic development,” she added.
Several countries in Asia recently agreed to comply with EITI’s principles—Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia and Timor Leste.
The ADB believes its efforts to promote transparency and fight corruption in its projects will be strengthened by its endorsement of EITI’s principles.
EITI is a global initiative to strengthen governance by improving transparency and accountability in the extractives sector. It is supported by a diverse group of stakeholders including over 20 countries, international organizations, many of the world’s largest oil and mining companies and civil-society groups. It was launched in 2002 by the Prime Minister of Britain.
It recognizes that benefits arising from the prudent use and proper management of natural resources should benefit citizens, and that disclosure of government revenues and expenditures will foster greater accountability, and that both government and the companies involved have a role to play in fostering an environment of transparency and accountability.
Other international organizations supporting EITI includes the African Development Bank, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, the Organization for Economic Co-operation, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.