Advancing Transparency and Anti-Corruption Movement in the Natural Resource Governance in Asia Pacific

Natural resources give a significant contribution to the state, where the natural resources become the driver of economic growth in Asia Pacific. Unfortunately, bad governance and systemic corruption still hinder the effort to pursue sustainable development. As conveyed by Jelson Garcia, Asia Pacific Director of NRGI in Regional Meeting on Advancing Transparency and Anti-Corruption Movement, in Jakarta last 21-22 October, right before the Global Conference on Beneficial Ownership Transparency.

“Seventy-eight (78) countries contribute to the largest global production of oil, gas, and copper. In 2014, same countries raised over USD 1.2 trillion in resource revenue. In that year, the contribution from nineteen resource-rich nations in Asia Pacific was at least USD 109 billion,” said Jelson.

Wahyu Dhyatmika, Chief Editor of Tempo.co, in one of the sessions, explained how Panama Papers in 2016 published more than 214.000 offshore entities as well as 140 politician and public officials. For Indonesian context, Panama Papers revealed businessman name related to the Zatapi import case.

In 2017, Pertamina imported 600 barrel Zatapi oil, worth USD 58.6 million. Based on the oil assay analysis, the price is higher USD 11.72 per barrel. The Zatapi importer is Gold Manor, whose controllers also control Global Energy Resources Pte. Ltd. Panama Papers disclosed that Gold Manor and Global Energy Resources have the same address in Singapore. While Global Energy is the main oil importer in Indonesia for years and controls 33% of oil import in Indonesia through Pertamina Energy Service Ltd, which owned by PETRAL.

Learn from Panama Papers scandal, Wahyu said that the availability of data regarding the structure of company ownership is still limited. “We cannot capture the big picture of collusion between cronies or families of the politically exposed person (PEP),” said Wahyu.

Dyveke Rogan, Policy and Regional Director of Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI), explained the importance of beneficial ownership data disclosure through EITI. “Ending the company anonymity is a key to fighting corruption,” said Dyveke in other sessions.

Dyveke continued, beneficial ownership transparency could improve the investment climate, reduce the financial risk, prevent corruption and illicit financial flow, improve the law enforcement and also increase trust and accountability between government and company. “The key is how government, company, and public understand the benefit of this disclosure,” said her.

Many roles can be played by journalist and civil society in promoting transparency in the extractive sector. Journalist and civil society can hold the government accountable, encourage the company to pro-actively disclose their beneficial ownership and create public demand in accessing and using the beneficial ownership data. [AN]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *