IBFD to Bring Capacity Building Expertise to Belt and Road Initiative
IBFD was invited to participate in the Belt and Road Initiative Tax Administration Cooperation Mechanism (BRITACʘM) as an observer and member of the Belt and Road Initiative Tax Administration Capacity Enhancement Group (BRITACEG).
Victor van Kommer, Director of Tax Services at IBFD, delivered a keynote speech regarding capacity building for BRITACʘM, and Shiqi Ma, Head of the IBFD China office, was a panellist for the rule of law.
Heads and representatives of tax administrations or finance departments from 85 jurisdictions, 16 international organizations and a number of academic institutions and businesses met in Wuzhen, China, from 18-20 April for the first conference of the Belt and Road Initiative Tax Administration Cooperation Forum (BRITACʘF).
The conference was organized with the support of the State Taxation Administration of the People's Republic of China (STA) and was attended by more than 350 delegates. Representatives from the Belt and Road Initiative Tax Administration Cooperation Mechanism (BRITACʘM) member and observer tax administrations were present, in addition to representatives from IBFD, the International Monetary Fund, the OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, the World Bank Group, the UN and other international organizations, academic institutions and multinational enterprises. The discussions focused on how to build a growth-friendly tax environment that would promote economic growth while ensuring tax revenue mobilization in jurisdictions that support the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
BRITACOM was officially launched on the first day of the conference. The Wuzhen Statement was released, in which the 34 member tax administrations, 22 observers, 19 members of the Belt and Road Initiative Tax Administration Capacity Enhancement Group (BRITACEG) and 14 BRITACEG partners of BRITACʘM reached consensus on building a growth-friendly tax environment by following the rule of law in taxation, expediting tax dispute settlement, raising tax certainty, streamlining tax compliance and digitalizing tax administration, and enhancing tax administration capacity. The Wuzhen Action Plan (2019-2021) was adopted subsequently, providing a two-year roadmap as a first step to attaining the longer-term goals of BRITACʘM.
"We are very pleased to support the initiative of BRITACʘM, because we see this as an important part of our mission to disseminate our knowledge in international taxation and to assist member countries in their needs for information and training," said Van Kommer.
Building on the outcomes of the BRI Tax Cooperation Conference held in Astana, Kazakhstan from 14-16 May 2018, the first BRITACʘF ushered in a new era for Belt and Road tax administration cooperation. With the concerted efforts of all the participating parties, the first BRITACʘF delivered concrete outcomes, including marking a milestone in strengthening tax administration cooperation among BRI jurisdictions towards a growth-friendly tax environment. It is expected that this environment will contribute to the building of a multilateral tax administration cooperation system and the fulfilment of inclusive and sustainable economic growth under the framework of the BRI.