Global Forum on Taxation, Ottawa, 14-15 October: closing
statement by the Co-Chairs
14-15 October, the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency
hosted a meeting of the OECD Global Forum on Taxation.
The meeting brought together representatives of 40
OECD and non-OECD governments that are committed to
the principles of transparency and effective exchange
of information for tax purposes. The meeting was chaired
by the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister
of the Cook Islands, the Honourable Dr. Terepai Maoate,
and Mr Gabriel Makhlouf, Chair of the OECD's Committee
on Fiscal Affairs.
focus of the meeting was on how to achieve a global
level playing field and how to improve further the
process by which this initiative can be taken forward
based on the widely accepted principles of equity
and shared responsibility.
all participants reaffirmed their commitments to the
principles underlying the exchange of information
standard and acknowledged the need to continue their
discussions to establish bi-lateral mechanisms for
effective exchange of information.
agreed that the level playing field is fundamentally
about fairness. Participants acknowledged that progress
had been made but recognised that a global level playing
field does not yet exist and that further
progress could and should be made to achieve it, so
that all countries can reach the high standards which
the participants wish to see achieved.
particular, they agreed that ways should be
explored to involve significant financial centres
that are not currently participating in the Global
important part of the process would be to review what
standards financial centres currently apply and where
further progress might be required.
agreed to work intensively over the coming months
to progress the global level playing field issue and
the broader question of improving the process by which
this work can be accomplished. A small group
of participants will be established to develop proposals
for consideration by the Global Forum for achieving
a global level playing field and a process by which
this work could be taken forward. The group
would first develop for approval by the Global Forum
a draft terms of reference for its work which would
cover all of the issues raised in the meeting (see
attached agenda). Once this is agreed upon by the
participating partners the group would begin its work
with the aim of reporting back to the Global Forum
in April 2004.
Commonwealth Secretariat offered to host the first
meeting of this new group.
noted that the Joint Ad Hoc Group on Accounts established
in the Cayman Islands would continue with its work
with the aim of reporting to the next meeting of the
participants expressed their gratitude to the Canada
Customs and Revenue Agency for hosting the meeting.
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