MANILA, PHILIPPINES - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has endorsed the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), which encourages governments to disclose their revenues, as well as companies to publicize their payments from oil, gas, and mining in order to promote transparency and fight corruption.
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 24 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 the United Kingdom.
By endorsing EITI, ADB will encourage its developing member countries to adopt the principles of the initiative. These include the recognition that natural resource wealth should be translated into equitable economic growth, and that the process of creating the necessary transparency and accountability frameworks to facilitate this must respect the sovereignty of countries and existing contracts and laws.
"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," said Ursula Schaefer-Preuss, ADB Vice-President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development.
"ADB's support of this initiative will help ensure that wealth generated from natural resources is used to enhance a country's economic development."
Five countries in Asia have already agreed to comply with EITI's principles: Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, and Timor Leste.
ADB already promotes transparency and anti-corruption efforts in its projects and its developing member countries through various initiatives. These efforts will be strengthened by the endorsement of EITI.
The worldwide EITI coalition 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 the government and the companies involved in the extractive industries have a role to play in fostering an environment of transparency and accountability.
ADB joins other international organizations supporting EITI, including the African Development Bank, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.