The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) has been implemented for the past 10 years, attracting the participation of 41 countries worldwide. It is seen as an effective tool to improve business environment and attracting investment into industry.

Vietnam Economic News spoke with Deputy Director of the Consultancy on Development (CODE) Nguyen Quang Tu, an organisation conducting research on EITI.

* Can you tell us some features about EITI?

EITI was launched and implemented in 2002 on the initiative of the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. After the 10-year implementation of the initiative, 41 countries have participated in the EITI and more than 10 others are in preparation process, including many developed countries like the US, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Australia and Canada.

After 10 years, at a global conference recently held in Sydney, Australia, the EITI International Commission approved a code of new standards for EITI which has some prominent features compared to the old code.

For example, apart from state budget collection and payment, EITI can supervise other stages of the mining industry such as licensing, signing contracts, supervision over outputs and management of state-owned enterprises.

In addition, EITI allows countries to take the initiative and be more flexible in practicing the EITI in accordance with the development process of each nation.

* In your opinion, what are the benefits for Vietnam when joining EITI?

In May 2013, according to a survey result, Vietnam ranked 48th out of the 58 countries around the world in terms of global natural resources management.

The survey results were based on four scores: the environment, institutions; management systems; information publicity and transparency; and the overall environment.

Vietnam is evaluated to have a quite high legal score but low score for other criteria. This shows a huge gap between the legal framework and actual practices.

In addition, experience from countries that implemented EITI showed that it has brought them huge benefits.

First, it helps improve the administration of natural and mineral resources.

Secondly, it helps the states increase budget revenues and reduce risks to a minimum during state budget collection and payment processes.

Thirdly, improving the roles and positions of the nations, especially in terms of transparency, has helped them attract more foreign investment, and

Finally, EITI will create trust and agreement between th state, enterprises and civil society.

With all those advantages, I think Vietnam will greatly gain from joining EITI.

* So, what measures has Vietnam taken to join EITI?

The first job is the state management agencies and Vietnamese scientific research organizations have conducted some research to provide more information about EITI.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) was assigned by the government to research the feasibility of joining EITI.

As far as I know, the MOIT is drafting a report in which it gathers opinions of related ministries and sectors and will submit to the prime minister about Vietnam’s participation in EITI.

I hope by the end of this year or early next year, the report will be approved and Vietnam will join EITI soon.-VNA