Welcome to the 6th Global Anti-Corruption and Integrity Forum. Allow me to begin by thanking the Prime Minister of Iceland, Ms. Katrin Jakobsdottir, the Prime Minister of Norway, Ms. Erna Solberg, the Vice President of Argentina, Ms. Gabriela Michetti, and the First Vice President of the European Commission, Mr. Frans Timmermans, for joining us.
Last March you asked the OECD to deliver, by 2020, a report on the tax challenges related to the growing digitalisation of the world economy.
Going for Growth is the OECD’s flagship report on structural policies. Its prime purpose is to help policymakers setting reform agendas for the wellbeing of their citizens. It is instrumental in supporting G20 countries in their efforts to achieve strong, sustainable balanced and inclusive growth.
It is my great pleasure to be here to launch the joint work programme with Brazil on transfer pricing, one of the core aspects of international tax policy.
The world has turned strongly against tax evasion and aggressive tax planning. Thanks to ground-breaking international agreements, it is no longer possible to hide assets by simply placing them in offshore accounts or structures. Banking secrecy has been quickly disappearing and cooperation between tax administrations is rapidly improving.
In both advanced and emerging countries, we observe growing dissatisfaction among citizens over what they perceive as the adverse effects of international trade, technological change and immigration on their daily lives.
Tackling BEPS is also about tax morale: Maintaining the integrity of our tax systems—so that citizens are confident that all individuals and businesses are making a contribution and that the tax laws are fairly applied—is essential to ensuring continued trust in and support for our institutions.
Digitalisation is having a profound impact on our societies. It offers many opportunities as a driver of innovation in the private and public sectors. We are already seeing, for example, how our tax administrations are benefiting from these new technologies to enhance services to taxpayers, improve tax compliance and tackle tax evasion and avoidance.
Thank you for the invitation to join you today for this important discussion on international taxation, and in particular, to focus on the remaining tax challenges arising from the digitalisation of our economy.
We are about to make tax treaty history! Before you lies the first ever multilateral instrument capable of amending bilateral tax treaties: the Multilateral Convention on Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent BEPS. Tonight, more than 70 countries have come together to become Parties to the Convention, with more expected to follow in the coming months.