Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative

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09.02.2009 00:30
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TRANSPARENCY INITIATIVE IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT DEVELOPMENT ISSUES FOR KAZAKHSTANI OIL AND GAS PRODUCTION INDUSTRY AND, MOREOVER, FOR THE WHOLE NATIONAL ECONOMY.
 
Transparency of business relations, corporate activity, and other aspects of business is an exceptionally vital attribute for creation of an advanced climate of innovation, competitive and stable market economy and effective cooperation between private and public sector. Taking into account importance of the Initiative for the country KAZENERGY Association also is making a contribution to public dissemination and - what is more important - practical realization of the Initiative.
Effective transparency of business relations in Oil and Gas industry in particular is a result of long step-by-step process when in business environment and civic society "a culture of open dealings" is slowly being formed. Transparency implementation assumes not merely transparency of business relations but also transparency of business interaction with public authorities. There is no need to bring excessive acceleration and pressure into a natural process of establishing such a culture. Referring to historical data Kazakhstan having quite recently acquired sovereignty has completely transformed its economic system having made a monumental move forward from command to market economy. Kazakhstan has become a nation with sufficiently open business and political relations - an achievement which in other countries has taken decades of hard work. Transparency Initiative being implemented across the Republic is an evolutional and voluntary means of consolidating code of transparency in Kazakhstan. Oil and Gas industry in this process acts as a vehicle which assures progress of the Initiative. At the same time striving to transparency does not imply extremity. The theory behind economic transparency does not by any means suggest revealing "all" the information available concerning financial and other data about activities of a particular company. In a developed country objectively judged commercial secrets serve as foundation for business success. As a consequence it is very important to distinguish these two interrelated requirements: transparency and existing limitations on disclosing certain confidential information. EITI complies with this.
Taking into account experience of the developed countries we can identify fairly clear in which direction we should move and how to develop further. Ideally, we must achieve such condition when a qualitatively new level of market transparency in Kazakhstan would be achieved not on account of routine implementation of state programs and memoranda but thanks to commonly recognized by all companies necessity to be open and transparent.
To achieve this we need to attract maximum number of market participants which in their activities would have been guided by uniform principles and methods of establishing transparency. However, EITI for private sector shall remain voluntary and participation encouragement shall be procured using financial stimuli. It is relevant to mention that the Initiative which provisions should not go against national interest of Kazakhstan is being implemented not only by the national companies but also by their international counterparts, by investors present in the Republic as well as by those representing transparency standards of European countries and USA. This is a key indicator which shows that responsibility for implementing the Initiative nationally is vested not only in Kazakhstan. In practice successful Initiative implementation depends to the large extent upon contribution of public authorities, national companies and foreign market participants. A dialog which is being conducted to this effect has proved successful thanks to among others efforts made by our Association.
Kazakhstan thanks to successful economic policy has moved a long way forward by comparison with other Initiative participants in making transparent its business relations on the whole. During the last years our nation according to most transparency indicators has fully complied with international standards which is evidenced by high level of trust of foreign investors.
In the nearest future in part thanks to EITI Kazakhstan will become an acknowledged example of business transparency not only in Central Asian region but in the whole world. To achieve this it is vital to coordinate and maintain cooperation between government and industry efforts targeted at supporting EITI and creating culture of transparency in Kazakhstani society.