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Towards a Level Playing Field,
second edition.

Report undertaken by Stikeman Elliott on behalf of the ITIO and STEP.


17 May 2001

ITIO urges equal discussions between OECD and small countries

The International Tax and Investment Organisation (ITIO) today called upon OECD Finance Ministers meeting in Paris today to involve small and developing economies (SDEs) equally in ongoing discussions on global tax and investment matters.

Lynette Eastmond, Director of the ITIO Secretariat, said:

"Since the statement by US Treasury Secretary O'Neill last week, the future direction of the OECD's harmful tax competition initiative has been uncertain.

"ITIO members continue to be firmly opposed to criminal tax evasion. We are also opposed to the development of rules that stifle competition.

"Whatever happens now must be done on a truly inclusive basis, with developed and developing countries working together on a level playing field.

"The OECD's process must be refocused so as to involve ITIO members and other small and developing economies equally and by right in setting any new international standards.

"The current situation, with the OECD threatening sanctions against small countries while OECD members don't meet the same standards, must not be allowed to continue."

For further information, please contact Ben Coleman
(Tel. +44 20 7526 3603, + 44 7958 616 444)


On 10 May 2001, Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill issued a statement about the OECD's "harmful tax competition initiative", saying, "The work of this particular OECD initiative…must be refocused on the core element that is our common goal: the need for countries to be able to obtain specific information from other countries upon request in order to prevent the illegal evasion of their tax laws by the dishonest few. In its current form, the project is too broad and it is not in line with this Administration's tax and economic priorities."

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