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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
November 21, 2004

Fact Sheet: Fighting Corruption, Ensuring Transparency
U.S. Actions at the APEC Leaders' Meeting

"[W]e believe every nation is capable of fighting corruption, is capable of putting good economic policies in place. . . . Developing nations have responded . . . by fighting corruption . . . and passing new laws that reward enterprise from their people."

President George W. Bush - November 20, 2004

Presidential Action

Today, President Bush and other APEC leaders took a determined step in fighting corruption throughout the APEC region by launching the Santiago Commitment to Fight Corruption and Ensure Transparency and the APEC Course of Action on Fighting Corruption and Ensuring Transparency. They also commenced the APEC Anticorruption and Transparency Capacity Building Program to help developing economies meet their anticorruption commitments.

Fighting Corruption in APEC: Proposed by the United States together with Chile and South Korea, the Santiago Commitment and the Course of Action on Fighting Corruption and Ensuring Transparency commit APEC members to:

Assisting Developing Economies in Fighting Corruption: President Bush joined leaders from Australia, Chile, China, Japan, and South Korea in helping APEC developing economies fight corruption through the newly-established Anticorruption and Transparency (ACT) Capacity Building Program. This program provides assistance to help APEC developing economies achieve the anticorruption commitments announced today. In support of this initiative, the United States will contribute $2.5 million over four years, and add a regional APEC Anticorruption Advisor to assist APEC's efforts in promoting the rule of law and a culture of integrity.

Background -- Presidential Leadership in Fighting Corruption: Corruption is the single greatest obstacle to economic and social development, according to the World Bank. The direct costs of bribery alone to national economies are estimated to be over one trillion dollars each year. Today's actions by APEC members, led by the United States, build upon President Bush's leadership in implementing a robust international transparency and anticorruption agenda, including:

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