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VietNamNews

VN urged to join EITI for mining transparency

Update: August, 22/2016 - 09:00
The Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) has asked Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc to consider the participation of Việt Nam in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). — Photo thoibaonganhang.vn

HÀ NỘI — The Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) has asked Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc to consider the participation of Việt Nam in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).

The EITI was critical for Việt Nam to improve transparency of the mining industry, and its management, as the lack of transparency and accountability were resulting in an alarming waste of resources.

VCCI questioned why mining companies constantly wanted to increase their exploitation while they reported low business results. “Are their reports reliable?”

VCCI cited its findings which showed that 85 per cent of surveyed mining firms admitted that there were “informal expenses” which accounted for 10 per cent of their total revenues and 72 per cent said that they must rely on “relationship” to access information.

This was causing distortions in the mining market, according to the VCCI.

In the Resolution 71/NQ-CP dated on August 5, the Government asked the Ministry of Industry and Trade to report the feasibility of Việt Nam becoming a member of the EITI within this month.

“Joining the EITI is beneficial to Việt Nam,” VCCI said in its document sent to the prime minister on Tuesday.

The EITI is an international standard in the management towards extraction of the country’s natural resources, in which member countries publish reports that disclose the mining revenues and other related information.

More than 50 countries in the world are implementing the EITI, including developed countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Germany.

Việt Nam has not joined the EITI over worries about the cost burden, and risks of leaking confidential State information.

These worries were groundless, VCCI said, and added that international experiences showed that costs for implementing EITI were not significant. For example, in Mongolia, a country rich in natural resource in Asia, cost for implementing EITI was US$200,000 per year.

The EITI standards were also flexible, allowing member countries to choose types of minerals and extraction phase for EITI implementation which were appropriate to the countries’ demand and capacity. Thus, Việt Nam can reserve the right to keep State information confidential.

“Việt Nam can implement the EITI following a roadmap appropriate to the capacity of the mining firms,” VCCI said.

Expert Đặng Hùng Võ said that the State management towards extraction must be enhanced together with transparency to prevent illegal mining. — VNS

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Benefits of EITI (according to VCCI)

-         Provides effective input for improving Việt Nam’s mineral laws

-         Helps the Government improve control extraction of minerals, reduce wastes of natural resources, and increase budget revenue

-         Enables State management agencies to be more proactive in law enforcement and prevent illegal exports of minerals

-         Creates a transparent forum, and mutual trust between Government agencies, businesses and citizens in mining, thereby reducing social conflicts, strengthening security, improves confidence.

-         Helps businesses reduce mining risks and unofficial costs, enhances their competitiveness and enables the participation in the global value chain.

-         Creates confidence and helps attract investments in mining projects with processing

-         Enhances corporate social responsibility

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