Swissaid Conference: Extracting Natural Resources - Transparency Wins

Doing business in developing countries, oil, gas and mining companies face a harsh environment. Widespread corruption and armed conflicts affect returns while the population of many resource rich countries does not benefit from the riches of these natural resources. However, a new global initiative, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) is paving the way out of the resource trap with a simple proposition: more transparency.

As soon as the revenue flows between extracting companies and the governments of host countries can be tracked, people have a chance to hold their leaders to account. The economy reaps the benefits of reduced corruption and of a more stable investment climate - which equally holds true for the states as a whole. New players like China are to be engaged and to be encouraged to allow more transparency. The recent turmoil on financial markets has forcefully illustrated the risks inherent to systems which are not transparent - and how transparency leads to a win-win-situation for all stakeholders.

But how do we get there? By applying voluntary agreements as stipulated by EITI? Or by going one step beyond, translating transparency requirements into mandatory regulations as championed by «Publish What You Pay» (PWYP), a global NGO coalition? How do we narrow the gap between declarations of intent and the reality on the ground? And what can be done in Switzerland to further resource revenue transparency? In a country that has few natural resources but a huge importance as a financial market and as a hub for commodity trading. Managers, experts, and representatives of civil society, politics and public authorities will tackle these questions - presenting experiences on the ground as well as theoretical insights and debating the issues in a mutual exchange with the public.

Download the agenda and registration details here.

Information also available in German and French.

For further information email Lorenz Kummer, l.kummer@swissaid.ch.