16/02/2022 - On 16 February 2022, 49 participants, among whom 15 tax commissioners and deputy commissioners from 18 Asian members of the Global Forum and three development partners, came together for the first meeting of the Asia Initiative. The high-level meeting was held by videoconference and chaired by Mr Suryo Utomo, Director General of the Directorate General of Taxes of Indonesia.
Participants welcomed the organisation of the meeting as a side event of Indonesia’s 2022 G20 Presidency, which highlights the critical role of the implementation and use of the tax transparency standards in a sustainable post-pandemic recovery and the importance of a stronger regional and international co-operation to address tax evasion and other illicit financial flows. They also welcomed the participation of the Asian Development Bank, the Study Group on Asia-Pacific Tax Administration and Research and the World Bank Group.
“It takes close, active and inclusive co-operation among tax administrations to win the fight against tax avoidance and evasion. I am proud to have chaired this meeting and engaged with fellow tax commissioners on shaping the face of the Asia Initiative”, said Mr Utomo. “Big steps have been achieved and I stand ready to lead this initiative in strong collaboration with its members and towards enhanced resources mobilisation.”
Launched at the last Global Forum plenary meeting in November 2021 with the firm support of the Minister of Finance of Indonesia, Ms Sri Mulyani Indrawati, and the President of the Asian Development Bank, Mr Masatsugu Asakawa, the Asia Initiative aims at promoting the implementation of the internationally-agreed standards on transparency and exchange of information and their use to tackle tax evasion and other illicit financial flows in Asia. It also offers a framework to foster tax co-operation, in particular through the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters.
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The Global Forum is the leading multilateral body mandated to ensure that jurisdictions around the world adhere to and effectively implement both the exchange of information on request standard and the standard of automatic exchange of information. These objectives are achieved through a robust monitoring and peer review process. The Global Forum also runs an extensive capacity-building programme to support its members in implementing the standards and help tax authorities make the best use of cross-border information sharing channels.
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