Remarks by Angel Gurría, OECD Secretary-General
OECD Conference Centre, 27 May 2010
Ladies and Gentlemen, Deputy Secretary-General:
I am happy to welcome you to this signing ceremony of the Protocol amending the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters of which the Council of Europe and the OECD are the Depositaries.
This is another success story in the fight against offshore tax evasion and I am honored to share it with you today.
When the Convention was opened for signature in 1988, it was in many ways ahead of its time. But many developments on exchange of information have happened over the years and an upgrade of the Convention became necessary.
These recent achievements in the fight against tax evasion are known to you all. They have been vigorously supported by many of the Ministers present here today. And this effort for more honest business behaviour is continuing. Thanks to the leadership of Minister Tremonti, we will discuss tomorrow a Declaration on Propriety, Integrity and Transparency in international business and finance, which upholds the respect by companies of their tax obligations.
27/05/2010 - Jeffrey Owens, Director of The Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, talks about the measures taken by the OECD to counter global tax evasion.
At its 2009 London Summit, the G20 stressed the importance of a swift implementation of these commitments. It also requested proposals to make it easier for developing and other countries to secure the benefits of the new cooperative tax environment, including a multilateral approach for the exchange of information.
The OECD and the Council of Europe have responded to these requests in an incredibly short timeframe with the Protocol to be signed today and I would like to thank the Council of Europe, represented by Deputy Secretary-General Ms. Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, for the collaborative spirit which allowed us to reach this outcome today.
Once the Protocol has entered into force, the Convention will be in line with the current international standard on exchange of information and opened to all countries. This will enable countries which are neither members of the OECD nor of the Council of Europe to accede to the amended Convention and benefit from the new, more transparent environment. This will make it a very powerful instrument and I am pleased to see today 15 Parties to the Convention ready to sign the Protocol and Korea, Mexico, Portugal and Slovenia ready to sign both the Convention and Protocol.
I anticipate that the number of Parties to the amended Convention will increase exponentially in the near future, thus making the Convention a keystone for international tax cooperation.
I sincerely look forward to the entry into force of the Protocol and the enhanced levels of cooperation it will achieve.