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Published on Wednesday, 30 January 2013 15:45
More details are emerging about the reform agenda the government unveiled to foreign investors late last month, particularly its plan to ensure good governance and transparency in the oil and gas, hydropower and mining industries.
The government is considering a proposal to implement the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, a global best practices framework that ensures transparency in extractive industries. The proposal was made to the president by a group of senior officials and experts he appointed to study the industries, officials said.
The group noted that poor governance of extractive industries was a major cause of conflict and corruption in resource-rich nations globally. Most of the 3.5 billion people who live in resource-rich nations do not benefit from their resources because weak governance allows conflict and corruption to prevent proper management of them, the group said.
Myanmar’s citizens will only benefit from their resources if the transparency initiative is implemented, the group’s proposal says. Proper management of the oil and gas, hydropower and mining industries will yield advantages while failure to ensure proper management will waste resources, it says.
The government must ensure transparency and non-discriminatory rules before it approves resource exploration projects and contracts in the future, the proposal says, adding that environmental and social impact assessments are also necessary before any projects proceeds.
In December, the government formed a group to consider implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, appointing President’s Office’s Minister Soe Thein as its chair.
It pledged to improve management of extractive industries, improve the investment environment, and ensure transparent communications between investors, the public and civil society groups.