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ADB launches Asia Pacific Tax Hub to help DMCs

THE Asian Development Bank (ADB) has officially launched an Asia Pacific Tax Hub to encourage more Developing Member Countries (DMCs) to maximize regional and international resources to strengthen domestic resource mobilization (DRM) and international tax cooperation (ITC).

In a statement, ADB said the Hub will organize a first High-Level Conference by the fourth quarter of 2021 to report on the progress and discuss next steps on the three building blocks of the hub, including details of the operations of the hub secretariat and Steering Committee.

ADB said it will establish a secretariat to operationalize the hub and organize a Steering Committee to bring together key development partners. It will also work closely together with the hub secretariat to lead the operation of the hub.

“Domestic resource mobilization has emerged as a major strategic priority for our DMCs at this moment. It will be vital in the effort to address debt sustainability and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals,” ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa said. “The lack of a pan-regional tax community has been a unique and significant shortcoming for Asia and the Pacific. To address this, I would like to announce today the official launch of the Asia Pacific Tax Hub.”

Debt sustainability

In a presentation, Asakawa said DRM is needed to help DMC address debt sustainability and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Asakawa said Covid-19 has substantially increased public debt in the region because DMCs needed to respond to the crisis through health and social protection efforts. Tax revenues also suffered due to the lockdowns.

With this, the hub will also help DMCs prepare medium-term revenue strategies (MTRS) and road maps for the automation of tax administration, as well as encourage proactive participation in international tax initiatives.

The hub, ADB said, will play a key role in encouraging regional dialogue and knowledge sharing on the needed reforms. The ADB will help DMCs by coordinating with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in supporting DMCs in efforts to collaborate on tax and diagnostic tools like the Tax Administration Diagnostic Assessment Tool.

ADB said the hub will also support DMCs with needs assessments to prepare road maps for the automation of tax administration, as well as facilitate policy dialogue with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

In this regard, the hub will stimulate proactive participation of DMCs in the Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) and the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes.

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