ESCAP Committee Considers Regional Forum on Tax Cooperation
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The Committee on Macroeconomic Policy, Poverty Reduction and Inclusive Development, convened every two years by the UN Economic Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), agreed to explore the possibility of establishing an Asia-Pacific forum for cooperation on tax matters.

UNESCAP3 December 2015: The Committee on Macroeconomic Policy, Poverty Reduction and Inclusive Development, which is convened every two years by the UN Economic Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), has agreed to explore the possibility of establishing an Asia-Pacific forum for cooperation on tax matters.

The three-day meeting of the Committee took place in Bangkok, Thailand, from 1-3 December 2015. The decision was one of several recommendations by the Committee addressing the areas of: rethinking economic growth strategies and policies; regional financial cooperation; countries with special needs; and reducing poverty through sustainable agriculture.

The Committee recommended that countries strive for sustained economic growth as a necessary condition for development, and as part of the means to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

On regional financial cooperation, besides cooperation on tax matters, the Committee also highlighted the importance of ICT infrastructure for regional connectivity, and recommended that the secretariat facilitate knowledge sharing and policy coordination in this regard. The Committee noted the need for enhanced cooperation as financial systems become increasingly interlinked across countries.

On countries with special needs, the Committee called for strengthening technical assistance and capacity building for least developed countries (LDCs), landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) and small island developing States (SIDS).

The Committee called on the Centre for Alleviation of Poverty through Sustainable Agriculture (CAPSA), a subsidiary body of ESCAP based in Bogor, Indonesia, to: focus its activities on the sustainable intensification of agriculture; enhance the agricultural sector’s resilience to climate change and natural disasters; and support the development of resource-efficient value chains for agricultural products.

Representatives from over 30 Asia-Pacific countries attended the meeting, including senior officials from central banks and economic, finance and planning ministries. Two high-level side events took place during the meeting on LDCs and the 2030 Agenda, and on Strategic Regional Partnerships for Sustainable Development. [ESCAP Press Release] [Draft Report of the Meeting (E/ESCAP/CMP(3)/L.2)] [CAPSA Website]

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