Myanmar’s President Thein Sein met with EITI Chair Clare Short today.
Clare Short commended President Thein Sein for Myanmar's progress towards becoming a member of the EITI and said:
“I am impressed by the commitment of the government, civil society and industry to work together for better management of Myanmar’s natural resources. This first multi-stakeholder meeting is an important milestone for the EITI process in Myanmar and the openness of the discussions is a reflection of that the transition towards democracy has come a long way.”
President Thein Sein acknowledged the need for better governance of Myanmar’s natural resource wealth. He said: “We want to use the EITI to ensure that these resources are developed and managed in a transparent manner for the sustainable benefit of our people. Political and economic reforms are an important part of the democratization process. Becoming a member of the EITI will be a tangible result of these reforms.”
In December last year, President Thein Sein publicly announced that Myanmar would implement the EITI and appointed U Soe Thane, Minister of the President’s Office, to lead the EITI process in the country. Two important steps remain to be completed before Myanmar can submit its EITI application. The first is to form a multi-stakeholder group. Important progress was made at an EITI multi-stakeholder consultation meeting in Naypyitaw yesterday when some fifty representatives from government, industry and civil society met to discuss the process for nominating members to Myanmar’s EITI multi-stakeholder group.
The second step is for the multi-stakeholder group to develop a workplan that sets out the objectives for EITI implementation in Myanmar, including what sectors to be covered and what the first EITI report should look like. Topics such as contract transparency, beneficial ownership and extension to the hydropower and forestry sectors were discussed. Clare Short called on stakeholders to maintain an ambitious long-term EITI agenda, but reminded participants that implementation will not be easy and encouraged a step by step approach.
Myanmar's government has said that it intends to apply for EITI candidature within the next couple of months.