The creation of a stakeholder group to oversee the extraction of Myanmar’s oil, gas and minerals has moved the country a step closer to membership of an international body that promotes corruption-free resource development.
It is hoped that the Myanmar and foreign industry representatives elected on December 13 will join government and civil society representatives in a multistakeholder group set up as part of Myanmar’s bid to join the Norway-based Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, or EITI.
The international group demands that applicants adhere to strict transparency and accountability guidelines in the extraction of a nation’s oil, gas and mineral resources. “The poor management of natural resources can lead to poverty, corruption and conflict,” Minister of Mining Dr Myint Aung told the event at Nay Pyi Taw at which the election took place.
“We established this multi-stakeholder group to improve the management of the resource sector by increasing transparency and accountability,” Dr Myint Aung said. U
Aye Kyaw was elected to represent the domestic mining sector and Li Hongyuang was elected by foreign resource sector companies.
U Aye Kyaw is the general secretary of the Myanmar Federation of Mining Associations and Mr Li is vice general manager of CNMC Nickel Co., a unit of China’s state-owned metals giant, China Nonferrous Metal Mining, which operates the Tagaung Hill nickel project about 200 kilometres north of Mandalay. U Min Zarni Linn, deputy team leader of the Myanmar EITI Cooperation Office, which is tasked with readying Myanmar for membership of the initiative, said that government and civil society representatives will be appointed later this month. Supporters of Myanmar’s application to join EITI argue that the transparency and accountability measures that membership will require Myanmar to implement will help win the country the support of the international community. The measures will help to cement relationships between companies, the government, and, in its watchdog role, civil society. It is argued that all this will, in turn, increase international confidence in Myanmar and boost foreign investment. more…