Panel Member Peter Eigen welcomes Trafigura transparency commitment

Swiss-based company commits to disclose payments to governments and national oil companies, says it is first commodity trader to join oil, gas, and mining companies already supporting the EITI.

Following the announcement today by Trafigura that they commit from 2015 to disclosing their payments to governments in EITI compliant and candidate countries, Africa Progress Panel Member, Peter Eigen, who is also Founder of Transparency International and Founding Chair of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), said the following:

“I welcome with great pleasure Trafigura’s commitment to full disclosure of the payments they make to governments and to their national oil companies. This move has potential to help improve the lives of many in African and other resource-rich countries.”

“For too long, Swiss-based commodity trading companies have been a bastion of secrecy and opaque business practices. Switzerland’s government and other commodity trading companies appear reluctant to introduce transparency legislation of the type seen in other countries around the world. If implemented wisely, voluntary self-regulation offers an alternative approach.”

“I am now keen to see how this move brings reputational and competitive benefit to Trafigura and how long before other Swiss-based commodity traders follow.”

Professor Eigen has been supporting discussions within Trafigura since April 2014, when he met company officials at a conference on commodity trading in Lausanne, Switzerland, organised by the Financial Times.

Launched by Kofi Annan, Chair of the Africa Progress Panel, the 2013 Africa Progress Report – Equity in Extractives – found that Africa’s oil, gas, and mining offer excellent potential to improve the lives of millions throughout the continent but had largely failed to meet that promise so far. Among its policy recommendations, the report urged international business to follow best practices on transparency and to raise standards in all areas of corporate responsibility.

Photo credit: © Trafigura Beheer BV