Following last week’s meeting in St. Lucia with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and its member states, the International Tax and Investment Organisation announced today it welcomes indications from the OECD that it will *”work with ITIO members towards elaborating a framework for establishing a level playing field.”*

The meeting between ITIO members and the OECD and its member states was organised by the Commonwealth Secretariat. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank participated in the two-day meeting as well.

The ITIO advises that the forum was convened by the Commonwealth Secretariat in an effort to address the challenges and prospects facing the international financial services sectors of small countries, and was held under the theme *”A New Partnership for International Financial Services: Prospects and Challenges”*. The meeting was chaired by Winston Cox, Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General and hosted by the St Lucia Government.

Under discussion were concrete proposals about the specific needs of small and developing countries (SDEs) in meeting international standards where these exist, diversifying their financial services sectors, and promoting the overall development of their economies.

Some 31 small and developing economies have committed to working with the OECD to develop new international standards for transparency and effective exchange of information. The ITIO points out, however, that in letters to the OECD members of the ITIO and other jurisdictions have made it clear that their commitments were offered on the basis of a level playing field among all OECD member countries – and also non-member jurisdictions – being essential.

The International Tax and Investment Organisation is a grouping of small and developing economies set up in March 2001 to help members respond to global tax and investment challenges. The ITIO explicitly considers the development implications of such challenges.