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 Home > News & Policies > October 2003

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
October 20, 2003

Fact Sheet
APEC Pledges to Improve Transparency and Fight Corruption

Presidential Action

  • Today, President Bush Welcomed APEC Leaders' Endorsement of New actions to fight corruption and enhance transparency.

APEC Action on Transparency and Corruption: APEC Leaders today made new commitments to combat corruption and promote transparency in the Asia-Pacific region. Leaders recognize the importance of these commitments for attracting foreign investment and promoting economic growth.

APEC Leaders agreed to:

  • Recognize that corruption is a major obstacle to social and economic development;
  • Develop specific actions to combat corruption;
  • Implement the "Transparency by 2005" strategy, including a wide-ranging set of transparency standards in areas such as investment, intellectual property rights, and customs procedures that will facilitate trade in the APEC region.

The "Integrity Dividend": The World Bank has identified corruption as "the single greatest obstacle to economic and social development," estimating that corruption can cut 0.5-1.0 percent annually from a country's GDP growth. Transparency is key to solving this problem, and transparent public financial management, government procurement, and customs services are critical to preventing abuse and maintaining public confidence that resources are being used wisely.

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