April 1, 2008
Monique Perry Danziger, +1 202 293 0740 ext. 222
OSLO, Norway – Global Financial Integrity (GFI) director Raymond Baker will be a featured speaker at the second meeting of a Norwegian-led, international task force on illicit financial flows and their impact on development, in Oslo, Norway. The conference will bring together representatives from 20 countries, international financial institutions, and other multilateral organizations.
“GFI has worked closely with the Norwegian government on the issue of illicit financial flows,” said Baker. “Norway’s leadership is crucial to combating a global scourge that has drained capital out some of the poorest countries and undermined efforts to alleviate poverty, spur economic growth, and bolster international security.”
$1.6 trillion dollars is estimated to cross national borders each year in illicit transactions, with approximately $800 billion coming out of poor and developing countries.
“Compare the $80 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 lost for every $1 dollar that goes in—forestalls development efforts and can even lead to failed states.”
This is the second meeting of the task force, which will meet a third time over the summer in preparation for Monterrey +6 Conference in Doha in December 2008.
Specifically, the task force will seek to:
- Access the scale and nature of illicit cross-border financial flows and their impact on economic development efforts
- Identify the various actors involved, including international businesses, public officials and financial centers)
- Assess the modus operandi of illicit cross-border financial flows such as mis-pricing and trade and financial transactions, wire transfers, smuggling and bribes
- Identify loopholes within existing international legal framework which enable illicit cash movement
- Identify policy tools and opportunities to combat these illicit financial flows
“For years money has been spent to spur economic development with low returns on investment,” said Baker. “This task force will present fresh recommendations on how alleviate poverty and foster economic prosperity with implications for everything from international trade policy to U.S. banking protocols. The work going on in Oslo this week is just part of a sea change taking place right now in international finance and development work.”