Improved Understanding And Progress

A Joint Working Group of jurisdictions from the Commonwealth and the OECD held a second round of discussions at OECD headquarters in Paris on March 2.

The Working Group was set up after High-Level Consultations in Barbados on 8-9 January with a two-part remit:

–First, to take the three principles underlying the OECD’s work in this area — transparency, non-discrimination and effective exchange of information — and to find a mutually acceptable political process by which these principles could be turned into commitments on the part of countries and jurisdictions participating in the Barbados Consultations.

–Second, to examine how to continue the dialogue begun in Barbados, and notably how the OECD’s recently created Global Forum on taxation can evolve into a truly inclusive Global Forum, which would promote global co-operation on tax matters.

The Paris meeting, jointly chaired by Mr. Owen Arthur, Prime Minister of Barbados, and Mr. Tony Hinton, Australia’s Ambassador to the OECD, took forward discussions initiated at the Working Group’s first meeting at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London on 26-28 January, 2001.

“We are pleased by the improved understanding and progress achieved,” the two co-chairs said. “A number of new proposals were put on the table by both parties, which we have agreed to examine further over the coming days.”

Participants at the meeting included ministers and senior finance and tax officials from 13 countries or associated territories, as well as representatives of the Commonwealth Secretariat, the OECD Secretariat, Caribbean Community Secretariat. The members of the Working Group are Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Barbados, the British Virgin Islands, the Cook Islands, France, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, Malta, the Netherlands, Vanuatu and the United Kingdom.

OECD New Release
March 2, 2001