UK advances need for greater transparency in land investments
London: June 17, 2013 – Thomson Reuters participated in an event hosted by Prime Minister
David Cameron on transparency, tax, and trade – the three topics central to this year’s G8 Summit.
The event, themed ‘Open for Growth’, was held Saturday (June 15) in London as a lead-up to the G8 Summit beginning in Northern Ireland today.
Over 150 leaders were invited to the event, including government ministers and senior representatives from the private sector and international organisations. The objective of the June 15 event was to create political momentum and stimulate public interest and debate around trade, tax, transparency and related topics.
Five concurrent sessions covered tax, trade, the extractives industry, land, and open data. Tom Walsh, managing director of the government division within the Tax & Accounting business of Thomson Reuters, participated in the land session.
“The event highlighted the importance that information management has on transparency, good governance, and abating corruption,” Walsh said. “This includes identifying who has rights, restrictions, and responsibilities related to land parcels and mapping the properties. Importantly, it also includes identifying the parties and individuals investing in lands and tracking revenues being paid to governments, communities or individuals for such land rights.”
According to the UK government, the global land rush is a growing priority on the international political agenda. Reliable information about the pace of investment is scarce, but evidence suggests investment in land is unprecedented and increasing. The lack of transparency surrounding land transactions can facilitate corruption and deter productive and sustainable investment in land. UK Secretary of State for International Development Justine Greening led a panel discussion on land and called on all parties to support land governance, including increasing transparency and participation in decision making, thereby protecting citizens and business.
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