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Discussions focus on climate-friendly tax policies

Monika Singh
Friday, September 29, 2017

DISCUSSIONS at the joint meeting on Development Finance Co-operation held in Brussels of the African, Caribbean, and Pacific Group of States (ACP) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) underscored the need for unlocking complementary finance flows from a broader range of sources to tap into available resources.

A statement from the Department of Information yesterday said Fiji's head of mission to the EU based in Brussels, ambassador Deo Saran chaired a session on international tax collaboration and updated the participants on relevant domestic and international actions, including in the area of climate change.

"International collaboration on climate-friendly tax policies has a place in the toolbox of instruments for combating global warming," said Mr Saran.

Meanwhile effective responses to development and international tax jurisdiction challenges were also discussed at the joint meeting.

The statement said next to ACP member States, representatives from the EU, the World Bank and other tax and development experts were present.

It said the aim of the meeting was to bring together the knowledge and experience of different stakeholders to enable the effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, the Addis Ababa Agenda Action and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

"The Fijian government has anchored its commitment to create a functional tax system by signing the OECD Multilateral Instrument on Tax Measures in June 2017. Implementing this instrument will attract international trade and stimulate investors' confidence," Mr Saran said.

According to the statement, despite this, increased development aid would remain crucial for meeting the development challenges of the ACP regions.

Discussions at the meeting also highlighted that taxes and tax reforms could play an important role for domestic resource mobilisation, "greening" the finance flows and increasing resilience of developing countries to disasters.

Participants highlighted the need for international collaboration on taxes to allow middle-income developing countries and vulnerable small island states, such as Fiji, to benefit from best practices and access to tools and support.

Also highlighted at the meeting was the lack of available data and insufficient administrative capacity to set up sophisticated domestic tax systems or adopt new instruments which were key challenges for enhancing domestic tax policies.

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