In line with implementing the decisions of the G20, and Ministry of Finance’s (MoF) accession to the Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) committees of the exchange of information for tax purposes; A delegation from MoF headed by HE Khalid Al Bustani, Assistant Undersecretary of International Financial Relations Sector, participated in the meetings of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes in Madrid between 21st-26th May.
MoF’s delegation included Majid Ali Omran, Director of International Financial Relations, and Dr. Hamid Nasr, Economic Consultant, in addition to more than 185 experts from 110 countries of the Member States.
The objective behind these meetings is to move forward in implementing phase two of the Global Forum plan, which focuses on the effectiveness of the transparency and exchange of information practices. The meetings, which lasted for six days, included three main sessions that are: “Steering Committee Meeting,” “Competent Authorities Meeting" and “Peer Group Meeting”. They focused on methods to improve and enhance communication between the competent authorities, which is a main factor in developing these practices and ensuring their effectiveness besides pursuing initiatives aimed at improving cooperation between them.
In this context, MoF’s delegation briefly presented the UAE economy, its attractive investment environment and its experience in signing agreements to avoid double taxation, internationally and bilaterally, through signing Convention (63). The delegation also addressed the strategic partnership that brings together the UAE and OECD of the exchange and sharing of experiences. This partnership was organized through the agreement that joins both parties to build a powerful network of expertise taxes for the region, where OECD has taken the UAE as the regional centre across MENA.
Furthermore, the Emirati delegation also reviewed the mechanisms adopted by the UAE in the areas of exchange of information with partner countries, which are brought together by bilateral agreements. The delegation also confirmed on the UAE’s commitment to the different criteria set by the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information, which includes the confidentiality of the information and maintaining them.
HE Khalid Al Bustani pointed that these mechanisms go along with the international standards, the requirements of OECD and the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, which was confirmed by G20. In addition, HE highlighted the UAE’s experience in this area through the assessment report that was done in accordance to the legal framework of exchanging information. HE also explained that responds were made to all queries from Member States on this subject, which had a deep impact on the results of the report. Through these responds, the report came with more positive results, especially after the clarifications made by MoF’s delegation in accordance with the decision of the Council of Ministers No. 17/2012 on the collection and exchange of information assigned to MoF’s delegation.
HE Al Bustani shed light on the meetings conducted by the UAE delegation on the sidelines of the Global Forum, where the delegation held a series of meetings with the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes Secretariats and with representatives of Nordic countries. These meetings fall in the context of strengthening the relations of economic and investment cooperation between both sides.
It should be noted that the UAE has won a seat in the International Steering Committee for the exchange of information during the fourth quarter of 2011 as the first Arab country to be elected to this position. The UAE was chosen for being an active member of the Forum and because of its strong commitment to the international standards for the exchange of information.