During the regional meeting on Challenges and Opportunities in Implementing International Tax Standards in the Pacific, held in November 2019, Pacific developing countries recognised the difficulty to prioritise actions promoting international tax co-operation over their efforts to reform and strengthen their own domestic tax systems.
In spite of the many challenges, participating jurisdictions acknowledged that the implementation of the international tax standards on transparency and exchange of information (EOI) for tax purposed was key to fight tax evasion, reduce illicit financial flows, and enhance domestic resource mobilisation (DRM).
A Pacific Initiative was launched in October 2020, based on a phased approach for the gradual implementation of the standards to achieve transparency and strengthen DRM in the region. Development partners including the Asian Development Bank, the OECD, the Global Forum, the World Bank Group, the Pacific Islands Tax Administrators Association, the Australian Taxation Office and the New Zealand Inland Revenue agreed to organise a series of capacity-building and technical assistance activities from 2020 onward for the benefit of the 16 Pacific developing countries, half of which are Global Forum members. Along with the tailored country assistance, these regional workshops support a gradual but consistent implementation of the international tax standards in the region.
So far, three events have been conducted: