Opening Remarks of the OECD Secretary-General, Mr. Angel Gurría
27 August 2013
OECD headquarters, Paris, France
Good morning Commissioner, Ambassador, ladies and gentlemen. Let me welcome you to this Signing Ceremony at which China will become the 56th signatory to the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters. It is with great pleasure that I chair this ceremony, which represents another important step in strengthening collaboration between China and the OECD and in fighting international tax evasion and avoidance.
|Today’s signing is very timely given next week’s G20 Summit and the focus it will have on tax matters. In July, G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors declared automatic exchange of information as the new global standard. The OECD, China and other G20 countries are working together to make this a reality by developing the operational platform for the new single global standard for automatic exchange of information. This Convention provides the ideal instrument to enable all countries to swiftly implement automatic exchange. It is the most comprehensive multilateral tax instrument available, providing for all forms of administrative assistance including spontaneous exchange of information, simultaneous tax examinations and assistance in tax collection. A valuable tool for governments to fight offshore tax evasion, the Convention also ensures compliance with national tax laws and respects the rights of taxpayers by protecting the confidentiality of the information exchanged. In an increasingly globalised and interconnected world, tax co-operation and tax compliance are of crucial importance for all countries and citizens - and not only in times of a tight fiscal and budgetary environment.|
The OECD and China also cooperate closely on a number of other taxation issues. For example, China plays a leading role in the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes as a Vice-Chair of its Steering Group and as a member of the Peer Review Group. I would like to congratulate you on the very positive results of China’s peer review, which demonstrated the adequacy of China’s legal and regulatory framework and the effectiveness of its tax administration in implementing the Global Forum’s standards. China also participates in the OECD’s Forum on Tax Administration and I am delighted that China will join the OECD/G20 Base Erosion and Profit Shifting Project as an Associate starting in September. Already China has made very valuable contributions to this work through its participation in the OECD’s Committee on Fiscal Affairs and we look forward to working with China to deliver on the 15 point Action Plan to put an end to tax base erosion by multinational enterprises.
Now, more than ever, countries need to work together to ensure that everybody pays their share of taxes legally due, and they need to use all available tools to do so. In the 2 years since the amended Convention entered into force, over 55 countries have signed it, including all G20 countries, and more will do so shortly. Today marks an important milestone on our road to closer cooperation, more transparency and winning the fight against tax evasion.
We look forward to cooperating with China to maximise the benefits of this Convention. I congratulate you on taking this important step.