1. Meeting from October 26-27 in Cape Town, South Africa, the OECD Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes ( ‘The Global Forum’) welcomed 10 new members: Albania, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Gabon, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Pakistan, Tunisia and Uganda. It also welcomed the Centre de rencontres et d’études des dirigeants des administrations fiscales (CREDAF) and the World Customs Organization (WCO) as new observers.
2. The Global Forum designated South Africa (Mr. Kosie Louw) as the new Chair to take over from Australia at the beginning of 2013 for a period of two years.
3. Three new members, Indonesia, Norway and Spain, were appointed to the Peer Review Group for a period of three years, replacing Australia, Denmark and Ireland. Existing members and the Chair and Vice-Chairs were re-appointed for one year. In addition, it was agreed that Global Forum members may attend PRG meetings as observers in certain circumstances.
4. The Global Forum adopted and published an additional 9 peer review reports (i.e. the combined reviews of Argentina and South Africa, and the Phase 1 reviews of Dominica, Marshall Islands, Niue, Russian Federation, Samoa, Sint Maarten and Slovenia. A further 3 supplementary reports – for Liechtenstein, Monaco and Uruguay – were adopted and published as well. As a result of the progress reflected in their supplementary reports, Liechtenstein and Uruguay, which earlier could not move to Phase 2, can now do so.
5. The Global Forum members recognised the significance of Phase 2 reviews, which will eventually lead to ratings of jurisdictions on essential elements and an overall rating, and resolved to ensure that this sensitive exercise was conducted with equity, fairness and in a transparent manner.
6. The Global Forum was also pleased to note the interest shown by a range of jurisdictions in signing the OECD multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, making it a key instrument for the exchange of tax information to the international standard.
7. At its meeting in Paris in October 2011, Global Forum members agreed to extend the mandate until the end of 2015. As the schedule of reviews currently does not go beyond the 1st half of 2014, a discussion on the future direction of the Global Forum’s work was held. It was agreed that there should be a continuing role for the Global Forum in providing an essential framework for work on transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes. The Global Forum should further develop its monitoring role to ensure that the international standard is applied to the full extent by all jurisdictions. Its core focus should continue to be on the exchange of information.