Transparency in the Raw Materials Trade: International Meeting of Experts
Bern, 28.03.2019 - Cash flows to countries which extract raw materials are to become more transparent. This is the aim of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). On March 28th, results and targets were presented at a SECO-EITI conference in Lausanne.
Despite their potential wealth, countries with large sources of raw materials often present lower per capita growth rates and a lower social welfare than similar countries that do not benefit from comparable sources of raw materials. Corruption and the inappropriate utilisation of income from the raw materials sector prevent the population from accumulating wealth. Transparency can fight this as it strengthens the accountability of governments.
52 countries apply the EITI standard
The EITI has promoted transparency in commodity trading since 2002. 52 countries already implement the resulting EITI standard. More than 60 extracting and trading companies as well as 400 civil society organisations support it. Thanks to the initiative, payments worth USD 2.5 trillion made by commodity trading companies to governments of extracting countries were disclosed.
Since 2015, an EITI working group of experts from governmental and private commodity trading companies as well as civil society organisations has been working on specifying and expanding the EITI standard with regards to the trade of raw materials.
The trade of raw materials is becoming more transparent
Significant progress was made regarding the disclosure of cash flows directed by commodity trading companies to governments. The sales volumes and income must be published and the traceability of the raw materials purchases must be accessible. Governments should also clarify how they select buyers.
These new provisions will be integrated in the EITI standard at the next global meeting of its members in June 2019.
Switzerland and the EITI
Switzerland is one of the leading places for raw materials trading. The country meets its responsibility by financially supporting the EITI and actively participating on its board of directors.
The conference was organised by SECO and EITI and opened by Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch, Director of SECO.
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