Briefing Document / April 17, 2009

Evidence for the House of Lords Select Committee Inquiry on the European Union

Global Witness evidence for the Inquiry into "The European Union and China" by the Foreign Policy, Defence and Development Sub-Committee of the House of Lords Select Committee on the European Union

Between June and September 2008, Global Witness undertook research in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on a substantial Collaboration Agreement signed between a consortium of Chinese state-owned enterprises and the Congolese government. This research formed the basis for the evidence.

Using the agreement as a case study for Chinese involvement in Africa, Global Witness highlights concerns about the lack of transparency surrounding the agreement and elements within the agreement which may be unfavourable to the country once the programme of work is implemented. These concerns are particularly important in view of the enormous economic significance of this agreement, especially in terms of the DRC's long-term financial commitments.

In Global Witness's opinion, the evidence demonstrates deficiencies in the approaches of the China consortium and the Congolese government in the following areas: lack of transparency; failure to involve democratically-elected institutions; risks for long-term financial stability; insufficient protection of labour rights; and concerns about sustainable development through the mineral-for-infrastructure deal.

Read the full briefing here.