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Letter to the Editor in FT: Country-by-Country Reporting Can Help the Poor

February 23, 2012

By EJ Fagan

EJ Fagan was New Media Coordinator for the FTC from 2011-2013. He is now Deputy Communications Director for Global Financial Integrity. You can follow him on Twitter @ejfagan.

Karen Egger of The Task Force’s Transparency International wrote the following to The Financial Times in a letter to the editor:

Sir, The position expressed by the large oil companies (“Shell joins push to dilute EU’s proposed anti-corruption rules”, February 20) that disclosing information on a country-by-country basis of their operations will not “help combat corruption” is counter-intuitive at best and misrepresentative at worst. Citizens, investors and civil society, especially those in developing countries, must have relevant information in order to determine the full extent of the activities of these companies. Multinational businesses generate revenues and profits in resource-rich countries and so should contribute to the public coffers through royalties, taxation and the like. In the absence of country-by-country reporting by companies or disclosure of this information by countries, it is impossible to know how much profit is generated and what, if any, special arrangements governments may have entered into.

Full letter available here. She goes on to both underline the importance of transparency for developing countries and repeat the business case made by investors for country-by-country reporting in regards to good financial decision-making.

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Disclaimer: Unless specifically stated to be the views of the Financial Transparency Coalition, the opinions expressed on this blog are solely the opinions of the individual blogger and are not necessarily those of the Financial Transparency Coalition.

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