Addis Ababa – 15 July 2015 — The Global Forum and the French Ministry of Finance, hosted an event titled Linking Transparency and Exchange of Information to Domestic Resource Mobilization in Addis Ababa in conjunction with the Third International Conference on Financing for Development. This event showcased the value, economic impact, and contribution of transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes to address tax evasion and increase domestic resource mobilisation in developing countries.
The Secretary General of the OECD, Mr. Angel Gurria opened the event and the keynote address was delivered by Dr. Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank. Dr. Kaberuka highlighted the importance of strong and capable tax administrations amongst African countries and underscored the wider need for transparency both in tax collection and expenditure.
Advances in transparency and exchange of information around the world over the past five years mean that there is an opportunity now to close the information gap which exists between tax administrations and international tax evaders in developing countries. The tools are there and the insights are there but what may be missing “is the awareness, determination and leadership needed to exploit these tools” said the Hon. Nhlanhla Musa Nene Minister of Finance of South Africa calling on developing countries to take advantage of the available tools.
The meeting heard that India had increased its requests for information from treaty partners more than 40 fold in the last six years. The Hon. Shri Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Finance of India stressed India’s determination to decisively address the problem of unaccounted money or assests hidden abroad including through a new Black Money Act which would be complimented by efforts to strenghthen its ability to detect and prosecute tax evaders with the help of enhanced international cooperation.
An announcement on behalf of the Finance Minister of Ghana, Mr. Seth Terpeker that Ghana will partner with the United Kingdom in a pilot project on Automatic Exchange of Information was warmly welcomed.
Other speakers at the event included senior representatives from the Government of France, the Government of Ghana, the World Bank Group, the UK’s Department for International Development, the African Tax Administration Forum, and Tax Justice Network Africa. All speakers recognised the need for developing countries to seize the opportunities presented by the recent advances in tax transparency.
About the Global Forum
The Global forum is the largest international tax organisation in the world dealing with transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes. With 126 member jurisdictions more than half of which are developing countries the Global Forum leads the world in improving transparency for tax purposes. Since it was restructured six years ago more than 3 500 new exchange of information relationships have been created between its members and the era strict bank secrecy for tax purposes has come to an end.
For more information, journalists should contact Monica Bhatia, Head of the Global Forum Secretariat on +33 1 45 24 97 46.