Tax forum driven to new venue by hurricane

| 01/09/2009

(CNS):  The OECD forum which is meant to be examining the world’s “stormy finances” has been moved to Mexico City from Baja California, because of a real storm. Hurricane Jimena has forced the major international conference on tax transparency from Los Cabos owing to the major threat posed by the category four Pacific hurricane. "The meeting of the OECD’s Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information due to take place September 1-2 has been moved to Mexico City," the finance ministry said in a statement.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) confirmed the move on its website. "On the basis of latest information indicating that Hurricane Jimena is now likely to make landfall on the southern part of the peninsula of Baja California on Wednesday, Mexico’s national authorities are advising to take all possible precautions and have issued a hurricane warning for the area," it said.

Representatives from almost 100 governments are due to attend the OECD conference including a Cayman delegation which will be chaired by Mexican Finance Minister Agustin Carstens and attended by OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria. The meeting which starts today has tax evasion and the implementation of the internationally agreed tax standards on transparency high the agenda.

“The meeting will coincide with the publication of the Global Forum’s annual report, Tax Cooperation 2009: Towards a Level Playing Field – 2009 Assessment by the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information,” the OECD said.

The organization stated that it would be seeking to implement “a robust peer review mechanism.” Proposals that are expected to be discussed include monitoring the implementation of the agreed tax standards; expanding the jurisdictions participating in the Global Forum, including developing countries and speeding up the process of negotiating Tax Information Exchange Agreements and Tax Treaties, including developing multilateral instruments.
 The OECD said it expected a new mandate for the Global Forum, focussed on ensuring effective implementation of the standards by all jurisdictions that are part of the global financial system through monitoring and peer reviews would result from the meeting.

“It is expected that agreement will be reached on new governance structures and membership rules and on a new status for the Global Forum which may become a self-standing programme, under the OECD umbrella, with its own resources,” the OECD stated.



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