On February 13th, the appointed FIAA representatives in the Multi-Stakeholder Group of Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) met with the Head of Albanian EITI Secretariat, Mr. Ardit Kamberi .
The aim of the meeting was to discuss on the perspectives of the objectives of EITI Secretariat and the role of the Private Sector in the process.
Mr. Kamberi praised the commitment shown by the representatives of the companies in the EITI reporting process in Albania, considering this group as an essential pillar of the substantial triangular cooperation (Government Institutions, Companies and Civil Society) in the activity of the Albanian EITI.
The novelty of 2016 EITI’s report is the inclusion of the Energy sector in the EITI reporting process, reconfirming the comprehensive nature of the process in the exploitation of natural resources.
The Oslo-based EITI Board in mid-February 2018 has made a positive official assessment on the progress of the activity of the EITI National Secretariat, which is extremely significant for our country.
Mr. Kamberi highlighted the fact that the EITI Initiative serves as a showcase for foreign investors in Albania, by ensuring official information, reliability and safety in line with the international standards.
FIAA’s representatives highlighted the role of the EITI Secretariat along with companies’ contribution to this process, which has increased significantly in Albania.
Mr. Perparim Alikaj, representative of Tirex, operating in the extractive industry highlighted that the municipalities and the areas where extractive industry operates have not always received their due share of benefits from mining royalties. Also, Mr. Alikaj proposed changes to the current Mining Law as a concrete mechanism that will help Albania attract foreign investments and improve the business climate in this sector.
Mr. Turker Sengonul, CEO of Shell Upstream Albania, provided an overview of Shell’s current activity in Albania and underlined the importance of coherent reporting not only by Companies, but also by Government institutions, since this would help achieving the ultimate objective of the EITI initiative.
Mr. Dritan Dervishaj, representative of Antea Cement, backed the idea that companies themselves are interested in being transparent with the government and that inconsistencies in EITI reporting have come mainly from state institutions. Mr. Dervishaj also said that local governments in extractive areas are double beneficiaries, benefiting both from mining royalty and local taxes.
Mr. Pandeli Bombaj, Technical Director of Selenice Bitumi, stressed the need to search for mechanisms that help increase transparency in extractive industry and therefore promote fair competition. Mr. Bombaj added that any changes to the legal framework should be made after there has been full consultation with the companies.
Mrs. Orkida Dragoti, representing Statkraft’s/Devoll Hydropower in Albania ensured her commitment in the EITI Board. According to Mrs. Dragoti, the EITI Reporting Process is closely related to Statkraft’s transparency policy, and invited all investors to help resolve bureaucratic issues and contribute to the improvement of the legal framework in the extractive and energy sectors.
Finalizing the meeting, the parties expressed their commitment to increase the level of cooperation, contributing to the optimization of EITI’s activity, maximizing Transparency and Public Benefits in the use of natural resources of the country and in particular for the strategic sectors of the extractive industries.
Companies which represent FIAA in the Multi-Stakeholder Group of EITI Secretariat Albania are: Statkraft/Devoll Hydropower, Selenice Bitumi, Shell Upstream Albania, Antea Cement (Titan group) and Tirex Exploration.