• APEC vows to deny safe haven to corrupt officials

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    LIMA, PERU: Saying corruption remains a serious threat to prosperity and development in the region, ministers attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit here have agreed to step up measures to combat corruption, including denying safe haven to corrupt officials.

    In their joint statement after a two-day APEC Ministerial Meeting from November 17 to 18, the ministers pledged to help each other combat corruption by enhancing an anti-corruption transparency network against illicit trade.

    “We are committed to further strengthen the APEC Network of Anti-Corruption Authorities and Law Enforcement Agencies (ACT-NET) and drawing on the experiences of law enforcement by sharing best practices, and promoting cross-border cooperation, both formal and informal, to investigate and prosecute corruption and bribery cases,” the APEC ministers said.

    “We will commit to highlight the importance of best practices shared on the implementation of anti-corruption and anti-bribery compliance programs designed to prevent and detect bribery, considering incentives by member economies to encourage businesses to establish effective voluntary anti-corruption programs and support for our pathfinder dialogues on fighting corruption and illicit trade,” they added.

    The APEC ministers also reiterated their commitment to implement the APEC Beijing Declaration on Fighting Corruption.

    “In line with each economy’s laws and policies, we are committed to denying safe havens for corrupt officials and their proceeds of corruption. We commit to strengthen cooperation on repatriation or extradition, as appropriate,” the ministers said.

    The discussions were held ahead of the two-day APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting starting Saturday to be attended by the heads of state or representatives of 21 Pacific rim economies.

    The Philippines was represented by Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay and Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez at the ministers’ meeting led by Peru’s Foreign Minister Ricardo Luna and Foreign Trade and Tourism Minister Eduardo Ferreyros.

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