March 14, 2008
Monique Perry Danziger, +1 202 293 0740 ext. 222
WASHINGTON, DC – Global Financial Integrity (GFI) applauds the announcement that Norway and the World Bank will join forces against illicit financial flows and sponsor a conference on illicit finance which will focus on illegal capital flight from developing countries.
“GFI has worked closely with the Norwegian government and the World Bank on the issue of illicit financial flows,” said GFI Director Raymond Baker. “This announcement constitutes a formative moment in the history on international finance and economic development.”
$1.6 trillion dollars is estimated to cross national borders each year in illicit transactoins with approximately $800 billion coming out of poor and developing countries.
“Compare the $100 billion in economic aid from Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) states that flows into poor countries to the illicit outflow of $800 billion,” said Baker. “This loss of capital, $10 dollars out for every $1 dollar of aid that goes in, forestalls development efforts and can even lead to failed states.”
The Norway/World Bank conference, to be held in late 2008, will build on the agenda and work begun at the “Illicit Financial Flows: The Missing Link in Development,” conference hosted by GFI in June 2007. It was during that conference that the Norwegian government called on the World Bank to study the problem of illicit financial flows out of developing countries
“For years money has been spent to spur economic development, fight crime, alleviate poverty, and safeguard nations,” said Baker. “GFI applauds Norway and the Bank for moving us one step closer to combating a global scourge that undermines international prosperity and security.”