ArmInfo. On September 16, as part of a study visit to the UK, a meeting was held with the delegation of the Armenia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy of the UK Government (BEIS Department).
As ArmInfo was told in EITI, the main purpose of the visit is to study the UK best practices in identifying real owners. During the visit, the Armenian delegation got acquainted with the experience of the United Kingdom in creating a register of real estate owners and legal rules for registering company owners. The workshop participants presented the functions, regulatory legal acts, regulatory functions, cooperation with other state bodies and NGOs, as well as the scope of cooperation with other countries. Legal mechanisms were also presented to collect information, ensure data availability, protect personal data and fulfill disclosure requirements for real owners.
The members of the Armenian delegation studied the technical characteristics of the Register of Great Britain, online and paper data submission, as well as the practice of checking embedded data. Department representatives also presented ongoing reforms and anticipated international developments in this area.
A study visit to the United Kingdom was organized as part of the project "Support for Transparency of the Global Initiative for Extractive Industries Transparency in Armenia, Georgia and Ukraine", implemented by the German Society for International Cooperation.
Earlier, RA Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Avinyan reported that active work is underway in Armenia to create a system for disclosing the real owners of mining enterprises. An interagency working group to identify real owners is working on the development of by-laws to ensure the disclosure of real owners.
To recall, on March 9, 2017 in the capital of Colombia, Bogota, the application of Armenia for joining the EITI was approved. Thus, the republic became the 52nd country using the global EITI standard. This will lead to transparency in the mining sector and increased accountability to the public. These factors are essential in the context of improving the country's business environment. It should be noted that on the state balance of mineral reserves at present more than 670 deposits of solid minerals with confirmed reserves, including 30 metal, are registered.
To note, EITI is a coalition of government, companies, civil society, investors and international organizations. It was created in 2002 at the initiative of then Prime Minister of Great Britain Tony Blair at the conference on sustainable development in Johannesburg. In 2003, standards were developed and implemented to ensure transparency and accountability. The initiative is to increase transparency and improve the quality of governance in the extractive industries by periodically publishing reports, adhering to standards and strengthening institutional capacity.