Remarks by Angel Gurría
18 July 2020
(As prepared for delivery)
Ministers, Governors, Ladies and Gentlemen,
International tax cooperation is more needed than ever.
Addressing the tax challenges of the digitalisation of the economy should remain one of our top priorities. You have all agreed that action is necessary to reach a global, consensus-based solution, made of two pillars. Pillar one would provide the new nexus and profit allocation rules, while Pillar 2 would introduce a global minimum tax.
We will be able to report progress next October with Blueprints on both pillars. Pillar 2 will be finalised and ready for a political decision, while Pillar 1 should sketch what a solution should look like.
This crisis has shown that work on tax and digitalisation has become even more relevant. The crisis and the containment measures put in place in many countries have resulted in the profits of digital companies skyrocketing! As a result, more and more governments are announcing unilateral measures, digital taxes that create tension and uncertainty. Others are announcing retaliatory measures, should the above happen. The last thing we need. A perfect storm. A perfect mess.
This is why the goal is to reach an agreement as soon as possible, if not on every single aspect of the package, at least on major parts of it.
Your achievements have been concrete and significant.
Thanks to your collective action we have fought back bank secrecy. Just a few weeks ago, we released the latest information showing that, as of last September, almost 100 jurisdictions automatically exchanged information on financial accounts. This resulted in information on 84 million bank accounts with a value of EUR 10 trillion in assets being exchanged in 2019 alone – almost doubling from 2018! You can be proud of your achievements. More than EUR100bn of additional tax revenue have so far been collected thanks to those exchanges.
More recently, the G20/OECD Inclusive Framework adopted a new standard of information exchange making sure that income of service providers or sellers on online platforms will be reported to their tax administrations. I urge you to rally this same spirit of collaboration to achieve a major and necessary breakthrough to address the tax challenges of digitalisation.
Let me just say a final word on infrastructure, another area where collective efforts are needed to propel a strong and sustainable recovery. The 2030 Agenda and Paris Agreement commitments can only be reached if we invest now in making infrastructure greener and more resilient and continue mobilising the private sector to close the infrastructure financing gap. The G20 collaboration with Institutional Investors and Asset Managers on Infrastructure Investment, which the OECD supports, aims to strengthen these efforts. Count on the OECD to continue this engagement going forward. Thank you.