Countries rich in natural resources such as oil, gas, and mining have tended to under-perform economically, have a higher incidence of conflict, and suffer from poor governance. These effects are not inevitable and it is hoped that by encouraging greater transparency in countries rich in these resources, some of the potential negative impacts can be mitigated.
Benefits for implementing countries include an improved investment climate by providing a clear signal to investors and international financial institutions that the government is committed to greater transparency. EITI also assists in strengthening accountability and good governance, as well as promoting greater economic and political stability. This, in turn, can contribute to the prevention of conflict based around the oil, mining and gas sectors.
Benefits to companies and investors centre on mitigating political and reputational risks. Political instability caused by opaque governance is a clear threat to investments. In extractive industries, where investments are capital intensive and dependent on long-term stability to generate returns, reducing such instability is beneficial for business. Transparency of payments made to a government can also help to demonstrate the contribution that their investment makes to a country.
Benefits to civil society come from increasing the amount of information in the public domain about those revenues that governments manage on behalf of citizens, thereby making governments more accountable.