6 May 2013


In another victory for those advocating for a more fair and just world, three major developments took place last month.

Negotiators in the European Union reached an agreement to adopt groundbreaking new rules require all large EU oil, gas, mining, and timber companies to report all payments made to governments anywhere in the world.

"This agreement is a major victory for anyone who cares about fighting poverty, protecting investors, making markets more efficient, or reducing corruption,” said Global Financial Integrity Director Raymond Baker. "Our research shows that the developing world loses roughly US$1 trillion per year to crime, corruption, and tax evasion. This is a systemic problem caused largely by the opaque, secretive global financial system. For citizens of resource-rich countries, the new EU rules will shine a light in places that need it most."

The next step for the EU will be to pass legislation requiring all multi-national corporations to report their sales, profits, employees, and taxes paid on a country by country basis.

Secondly the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) published their investigation into offshore finance and anonymous shell corporations and trusts. In one of the most significant offshore investigations in history, they unveiled data on 120,000 shell corporations in tax havens and their secretive owners.

Thirdly the United Kingdom, joined by France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, announced a new multilateral convention to establish a pilot for automatic exchange of tax information, declaring it, "an important early step in a much wider move towards a new international standard in the automatic exchange of tax information."

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