Transparency in commodity trading: international meeting of experts in Switzerland

Bern, 19.10.2015 - From 21 to 23 October 2015, the 30th board meeting of the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) will be taking place in Bern. Within this meeting, experts will deepen the discussion about greater transparency and good governance in commodity trading. Ambassador Raymund Furrer will open the EITI week on 20 October 2015 at a symposium with experts from various governments, commodity companies and civil society organisations.

At Switzerland’s invitation, the EITI board will be meeting on 21 and 22 October 2015 in Bern. The EITI board comprises 20 representatives of supporting and implementing countries, civil society organisations, commodity companies and investors. Switzerland is part of a constituency consisting of five countries (together with Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands) and the European Commission. The latter currently holds chairs the constituency.

In addition to the board meeting, various activities organised by Switzerland and the EITI will be taking place. On 20 October, a public symposium titled “More Transparency in Commodity Trading: Objectives, Methodologies, Standards” will be held. At this symposium, the experts’ presence will be used to deepen the discussion on transparency in commodities trading.

On 21 October 2015, Federal Councillor Johann N. Schneider-Ammann will sign a programme agreement together with Charles Feinstein, the World Bank’s director of the Energy & Extractives Global Practice. The agreement covers Switzerland’s contribution to the Extractive Global Programmatic Support (EGPS) Programme. This programme provides technical assistance and strengthens capacity in developing countries, with the aim of promoting transparency and good governance in the commodities sector.

The EITI promotes transparency and accountability in the management of natural resources by setting a global transparency standard. The EITI Standard is already being implemented by 48 countries, over 90 extractive companies and 900 civil society organisations. Thanks to this initiative, payments from commodity companies to governments of producing countries of over USD 1.6 trillion have been disclosed.

Switzerland has been supporting the EITI since 2009 as a board member, but also by contributing financially to two trust funds that are managed by the World Bank. These trust funds support governments in the implementation of the EITI Standard. Furthermore, Switzerland is contributing to a trust fund that is managed by the IMF and that advises ministries of finance in matters regarding the management of natural resource wealth.

In its Commodity Report, the Federal Council recognises the support of the EITI as an important measure to improve transparency of financial flows in the commodity sector and to create a level playing field for commodity companies.

Address for enquiries

State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO
Holzikofenweg 36
CH-3003 Bern
Tel. +41 58 462 56 56
Fax +41 58 462 56 00


State Secretariat for Economic Affairs