Opening Remarks by Angel Gurría
Paris, France - 8 October 2020
(As prepared for delivery)
Dear Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen:
I am pleased to open the 10th – and extraordinary – meeting of the Inclusive Framework on BEPS, which brings together 649 delegates from 129 countries and jurisdictions and 13 international organisations. This impressive turnout reflects your commitment to deliver a solution to the tax challenges of the digitalisation of the global economy.
We had hoped to meet in Berlin today – with Ministers – to mark the next major milestone in this crucial project. However, the COVID-19 crisis has prevented us from doing so. But it has not prevented us from moving forward!
You and your technical teams have been working very hard to advance work on new nexus and profit allocation rules to address the tax challenges of the digitalisation of the economy (Pillar One). And you have also been focusing on constructing a comprehensive, global minimum tax that will help countries around the world address remaining BEPS issues (Pillar Two).
G20 Finance Ministers mandated the Inclusive Framework to produce reports on the Blueprints of Pillar One and Pillar Two by next week’s G20 meeting. After more than 65 days of virtual meetings – in which you have skilfully navigated the challenges posed by the pandemic, diverging views on key issues, and the difficult political climate – you are now well-positioned to deliver. I would like to thank and congratulate all of you for this great progress.
However, key political decisions remain, and some further technical issues need to be resolved. I hope you will agree that the Blueprints you have before you for approval provide a very solid foundation for delivering a global, consensus-based solution to the tax challenges of the digitalisation of the economy.
In a few days, I will meet with the G20 Finance Ministers, and I will urge them to step up their efforts to resolve the remaining political issues as quickly as possible.
The world cannot afford to let the status quo go unaddressed. The Inclusive Framework on BEPS is ideally placed to deliver a global solution given your expertise and the good progress that has been made.
New rules are urgently needed to ensure fairness and equity in our tax systems and to adapt the international tax architecture to new and changing business models. Without a global, consensus-based solution, the risk of further uncoordinated, unilateral measures is real. This also risks exacerbating trade tensions at a time when the global economy is already suffering enormously.
Before COVID-19, we expected world GDP growth to be 2.9% in 2020; we now project it to fall by 4.5%. In this context, the global economy needs us to provide greater tax certainty by re-vamping the international tax rules – not tax chaos. The Blueprints that you have developed demonstrate that a viable solution is within reach!
Ladies and Gentlemen:
The Inclusive Framework on BEPS is moving forward! I thank you for your support, your constructive engagement and flexibility. I wish you all a productive meeting and look forward to presenting the outcomes of your hard work – the finalised Blueprints for Pillars One and Two – to G20 Finance Ministers next week. Thank you.