Extractive Industries Transparent Initiative – EITI is the easy way to curb corruption and to ensure combined efforts from the Government, the media, the civil society and the private sector in the fight against corruption in extractive industries in Vietnam.
This is one of the recommendations to the Government of Vietnam from the participants to the Roundtable Workshop held by the Embassy of Sweden in collaboration with the Government Inspetorate of Vietnam in Hanoi on May 17 in preparation for the 9th Anti-Corruption Dialogue. Under the theme: “Improving Transparency and Accountability in Extractive Industries in Vietnam”, the one-day Roundtable Workshop identified all the risks, forms, causes and consequences of non-transparent and non-accountable practices in the sector as well as learnt both international and local experience in promoting transparency and fighting corruption in the sector.
In her opening speech, the Deputy Head of Mission of Sweden, Ms Marie Ottosson stressed: “Transparency and accountability are keys to address corruption in all sectors, including extractive industries.”
The Government Inspectorate of Vietnam informed the workshop of the inspections over the past years, which have identified a lot of wrongdoings and loopholes in the country’s mechanism and policies relating to the management and exploration of minerals. Meanwhile, Ms Vu Thu Hanh from the Hanoi Law University studied the revised Law on Minerals and spotted out a lot of risks for corruption. Nevertheless, the participants to the workshop emphasised that efforts focussing on improving the laws and regulations to govern the extractive industries were not enough to stop corruption. The workshop agreed that law enforcement and a mechanism to ensure transparency, accountability and access to information are more important. Monopoly and special rights to State-owned corporations and the “beg – give” mechanism have created unfair ground for competition between the public and the private sectors.
Representatives from the international Development Partners all shared the same voice that EITI is recommendable to the Government of Vietnam and stressed the need to strengthen the role of the civil society and free media.
The Roundtable Workshop drew the participation of some 110 international and national experts and consultants from various agencies and organisations as well as decision makers from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Ministry of Industry and Trade and other government agencies and institutes. Conclusions of the workshop will be presented at the 9th Anti-Corruption Dialogue to be held by the Government Inspectorate and the Office of Central Steering Committee on Anti-Corruption in cooperation with the Embassy of Sweden in Hanoi next week. The Dialogue is a regular event to discuss the Government’s efforts in fighting corruption, providing inputs to the regular Consultative Group Meeting.