At the conclusion of its first meeting held at the Commonwealth Secretariat on January 26-28, the joint Working Group of jurisdictions from the Commonwealth and the OECD established in Barbados earlier in the year acknowledged that ” further work is needed to achieve a mutually acceptable political process and the creation of a truly inclusive global tax forum”.

The Working Group has announced that it will continue its discussions in Paris on 1-2 March, 2001. Jointly chaired by the Rt. Hon. Owen Arthur, Prime Minister of Barbados and Mr. Tony Hinton, Australia’s Ambassador to the OECD, the Group will focus its discussions on the remit provided to it in Barbados. In particular, representatives from the thirteen Commonwealth and OECD countries will attempt to find a mutually acceptable political process by which the identified principles of transparency, non-discrimination and effective exchange of information can be turned into commitments. It is hoped that the meeting will achieve consensus on a framework within which the idea of a more inclusive global dialogue on tax issues might progress.

The first meeting in London identified a number of areas of agreement in relation to the need for dialogue and co-operation on tax matters with cross-border implications.