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The $3.5 Trillion Question: How to make natural resource funds work for citizens

Event Details

The $3.5 Trillion Question: How to make natural resource funds work for citizens

Time: April 8, 2014 from 10:30am to 12pm
Location: Columbia University’s Jerome Green Hall Annex
Street: 435 West 116th Street
City/Town: New York
Website or Map: http://www.revenuewatch.org/n…
Phone: +1 (646) 929-9750
Event Type: report launch
Organized By: Andrew Bauer
Latest Activity: Apr 7, 2014

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Event Description

The Revenue Watch Institute-Natural Resource Charter and the Vale Columbia Center on Sustainable International Investment announce "The $3.5 Trillion Question: How to make natural resource funds work for citizens", a panel discussion and launch of a significant report on sovereign wealth fund governance in natural resource-rich countries.

The launch of this report will take place at Columbia University’s Jerome Green Hall Annex, in New York City, on Tuesday, April 8th, from 10.30am (EDT) until 12pm. Attendees will receive copies of the research, and have the opportunity to engage with experts in natural resource governance, institutional investing, and public finance. Speakers will include Daniel Kaufmann (RWI), Martin Sandbu (Financial Times), Gawdat Bahgat (National Defense University), and Malan Rietveld (VCC). More details will be posted on the VCC website in due course:http://www.vcc.columbia.edu/content/35-trillion-question-how-make-natural-resource-funds-work-citizens. The event will also be webcast.

Natural resource funds—by definition a subset of sovereign wealth funds—hold approximately $3.5 trillion in assets as of the end of 2013 and are growing in number. About 30 funds have launched since 2000, and there are more than a dozen under consideration. Concerns about possible political motivations of their cross-border investments have led to much speculation about their global influence as institutional investors. However, their impacts on governance and public financial accountability at home have received far less attention.

These funds, which belong to the public and are financed by extraction of non-renewable resources, should serve the public interest. Citizens in Chile, Norway, some Persian Gulf countries and several U.S. states have benefited. But in other settings natural resource funds have often undermined public financial management systems and been used as sources of corruption and patronage, setting their countries back.

The Revenue Watch Institute-Natural Resource Charter and the Vale Columbia Center have conducted a survey of 22 natural resource funds in 18 countries, examining their management, investments, transparency, and accountability to the public, as well as the fiscal rules that govern them. Based on their findings, the researchers recommend a six-step process for promoting good natural resource fund governance. A dedicated website (www.revenuewatch.org/nrf, going live on April 8th) has been designed for government officials, legislators, civil society and the media as the go-to resource on natural resource fund governance. A two-page project fact sheet is attached.

You are welcome to engage substantively in this important and exciting policy area. Please register here

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