Advancing Beneficial Ownership Transparency: Asia and the Pacific Region
Date: 21- 23 February
Time: 2:00 - 5:00pm Manila (GMT +8)
Illicit financial flows related to money laundering, corruption, financing of terrorism, tax evasion, and other abuses have dire effects on countries and societies. They foster and finance violence and crime, diminish state revenues, affect citizens’ basic human rights, and undermine the rule of law and trust in institutions, especially the sense of justice and equality. While several factors may result in and encourage illicit financial flows, one of the main elements relates to secrecy, which prevents the authorities from identifying and prosecuting the individuals responsible. Numerous case studies have shown that corporate vehicles, including companies, trusts, foundations, and fictitious entities, can be misused to conceal the identities of the people involved in large-scale corruption and to hide and transfer the proceeds of crime.
The international agenda on enhancing the transparency of beneficial ownership (BO) has gained significant momentum during the past decade as an essential element in pursuing the fight against corruption, improving the business climate, and avoiding conflicts of interests for politically exposed persons (PEPs), as well as a tool for preventing money laundering, and countering the financing of terrorism and tax evasion. Countries are required by various international standards, including the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Recommendations, the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI), and the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (the Global Forum), to put in place measures to ensure the transparency of beneficial owners of corporate entities in their jurisdictions.
In view of the current status and varying degree of progress made by the countries in the Asia and Pacific region in implementing the BO transparency regime in general, and the EITI Standard 2019 in particular, it has been recognised that stakeholders from these countries could benefit from peer learning and guidance from experts on developing a robust legislative framework for BO transparency, including on a good legal definition of BO and reporting obligations of PEPs, effective data collection and verification procedures, oversight of the BO registers, public access to BO registers, effective enforcement mechanisms, and the impact and use of BO data.
The objectives of this workshop are to: a) gather BO practitioners, including Asian Development Bank (ADB) staff, government officials, civil society, and private companies from countries in Asia and the Pacific; b) to showcase the best practices so far, and discuss challenges; and c) to provide peer learning, and exchange experiences. The workshop is co-organised by the Governance Thematic Group of the ADB and the EITI International Secretariat. The workshop serves as a follow-up to the ADB and the EITI’s Beneficial Ownership in the Asia and Pacific Regional Workshop held on 19 and 20 March 2019.
If you are interested in participating please reach out to your country manager and/or Monica Osorio (email@example.com).