When we talk about a happy marriage, it is often based on trust in the relationship. It is hard to build a meaningful bond with your partner if you're hiding part of yourself or not honest. Not surprisingly, transparency and trust are equally paramount for successful businesses.

Economic theory suggests higher market transparency generally results in lower prices and better customer value. Transparency is more than a buzzword - it is a critical component to most complex business affairs, such as public-private transactions.

For example, in many emerging markets, a standard contract for financing electricity infrastructure a power purchase agreement – is often negotiated and signed to cover a period of 20-25 years.

The common understanding is that these agreements bring certainty for independent power producers, which enables them to generate and supply energy over a long period at a contractually determined price. However, a lack of transparency is common when it comes to unsolicited proposals.

A version of this article appears in the print on June 23 2021, of The Himalayan Times.