Swiss seek 'level playing field' from OECD

24th June 2009, Comments 0 comments

Economy Minister Doris Leuthard will call for equal tax rules the OECD’s annual meeting Wednesday and Thursday.

Bern -- The Swiss economy ministry said Tuesday it would insist that the OECD ensures a "level playing field" in an anti-tax evasion drive, during the organisation's ministerial meeting this week.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development is holding its annual meeting in Paris on Wednesday and Thursday.

It will be the first ministerial gathering for the organisation's 30 members, including Switzerland, since the OECD released a "grey list" of uncooperative tax havens earlier in 2009.

Economy Minister Doris Leuthard will "take the opportunity to express her attachment to a policy of transparent communication towards member states and reinforce equitable rules for all -- a level playing field -- especially on taxation."

The Swiss government is still hurt from its inclusion on the OECD list, which formed the centrepiece of an international clampdown on tax evasion in the wake of the financial crisis led by the Group of 20 economies.

Ministers protested afterwards that the OECD did not consult them about the list and questioned the absence of some G20 member states.

Since then the Swiss reached new taxation agreements with five countries, including France, and a tentative deal with the United States, to limit banking secrecy on some tax issues and meet OECD standards.

The "grey" section of the OECD's list contained about 40 financial centres that "have committed to the internationally agreed tax standard, but have not yet substantially implemented" it.

Leuthard will also defend free trade and the opening of financial and investment markets at the meeting.

AFP / Expatica

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