A high level APEC Anti-Corruption Workshop has strengthened the capacity of member economies to prevent corrupt individuals from seeking safe haven and hiding assets in the Asia-Pacific.
Held from April 24-26 in Shanghai, China, the "APEC Anti-Corruption and Transparency Workshop on the Denial of Safe Haven, Asset Recovery and Extradition" was co-sponsored by China and the United States.
In his opening address to the conference, China's Vice Minister of Supervision, Mr. Li Yufu highlighted the importance of member economies sharing experience and provided the Chinese Government's perspective on how to build a clean government and fight against corruption.
"I believe that through the discussions and exchanges of each side's experiences and ways of handling the matters involving the denial of safe haven, asset recovery and extradition," Mr. Li said.
"This workshop will certainly serve to enhance the mutual understanding of APEC economies in anti-corruption and further advance the exchange and cooperation in the field of fighting against corruption.
"The Chinese Government has attached great importance to building a clean government while committing itself to the reform and opening up and the development of economy.
"By adhering to the principle of tackling the corruption from both its root causes and symptoms, in a comprehensive way, combining punishment and prevention with emphasis on the latter, we firmly and continuously push forward the anticorruption work."
Ms. Debra Wong Yang, United States Attorney, Central District of California, United States highlighted the importance of the fight against corruption at both a domestic and international level.
"The FBI has made corruption its number one white collar priority. In the past years alone, over 200 new agents have been added to corruption squads across the US," Ms. Wong Yang said.
"In addition to investigating and prosecuting corruption at home, we are also working to stem corruption around the world.
"One of the ways in which we are doing that is by investigating US companies and individuals engaged in bribing and corrupting foreign government officials."
Addressing the workshop, the Executive Director APEC Secretariat, Ambassador Tran Trong Toan highlighted APEC's role in fighting corruption in the region.
"APEC member economies have a great stake in the success of this struggle if their goals for sustainable socio-economic development and prosperity are to be achieved," Ambassador Toan said.
"In 2005 APEC Leaders agreed to intensify regional cooperation to deny a safe haven to officials and individuals guilty of corruption, those who corrupt them and their unlawfully-acquired assets, and to prosecute those engaged in bribery, including in international business transactions.
"This is still a new area of cooperation in APEC and this Workshop on the Denial of Safe Haven, Asset Recovery and Extradition is very timely and significant."
The three day program of the workshop included presentations from a range of international experts from governments, the business sector and international organizations.
The workshop took place as part of the range of activities coordinated by the APEC Anti-Corruption and Transparency Experts Task Force (ACT). The next event on the ACT calendar is an APEC anti-corruption symposium in Hong Kong on May 9-11 with the theme "Corporate Corruption, Integrity & Governance."
Links to the text of speeches by:
Mr. Li Yufu, China's Vice Minister of Supervision
Ms. Debra Wong Yang, Unites States Attorney