Shadow Secretary of State for International Development Ivan Lewis MP said:
“I welcome the European Union’s new transparency rules which have been published today. They are an important first step in ensuring that companies publish what they pay governments on a project by project basis. It is a positive sign that the plans go wider than the scope of the US law, to cover forestry groups and big unlisted companies. The proposals do not, as some have argued, go further on issues such as disclosure of profits. The case for this can be debated further as the legislative process develops and the US scheme is implemented. We call on the Government to endorse these proposals and provide leadership to improve some of the requirements in the period ahead.
The proposals will help to ensure commercial deals can be subject to proper scrutiny. Too often countries rich in natural resources have been plagued by instability, corruption and huge inequality. These changes are good news for the vast majority of companies which operate in an ethical way, and people in developing countries who have a right to know whether they are getting a fair deal. Private investment is central to economic and social progress in the developing world but it is essential this is done in a fully transparent way.”