Transparency scheme extends reach in Latin AmericaSeptember 2009
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has become an official supporter of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), which promotes the disclosure of revenue payments by oil, gas and mining companies to officials in developing nations.
The move is likely to extend the five-year-old EITI’s influence much further in Latin America and the Caribbean, where IDB supports economic and social development.
The bank’s board of executive directors approved endorsement of the initiative last month and pledged to ‘work with other members of the coalition that support the EITI to promote its principles and participate in policy dialogues with natural resource-rich countries’.
Until now, much of EITI’s focus has been on Africa, where many companies and nation states have agreed to begin disclosing payments. It has had less influence in Latin America, although there has been recent progress in Peru, where the government has agreed to work with oil companies on greater disclosure, and in Bolivia, where the authorities have been in negotiations about implementing the EITI.
The decision by the IDB means that all seven major international financial institutions now support the EITI. The other six are African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Investment Bank, International Monetary Fund and World Bank.
IDB, which was set up in 1959 and is owned by nation states, is the main source of multilateral financing in Latin America. It has approved lending and grants of more than $10billion (£6.2bn) in the past 12 months.
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