At the end of the BRICS 9th Summit held earlier this week in Xiamen, China, the five BRICS nations—Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa—vowed to battle tax evasion in their respective jurisdictions.
As part of this effort, the BRICS nations will push to facilitate greater exchange of financial information and provide technical support and training to the developing world in its own struggle against tax evasion and avoidance.
This initiative shows the BRICS nations’ resolve to implement the OECD’s base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) project and push for a higher degree of knowledge sharing and exchange of information.
In a declaration released at the end of the event, BRICS nations said, “We reaffirm our commitment to achieving a fair and modern global tax system and promoting a more equitable, pro-growth and efficient international tax environment, including to deepening cooperation on addressing Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS), promoting exchange of tax information and improving capacity-building in developing countries.”
Furthermore, the document added, “We will strengthen BRICS tax cooperation to increase BRICS contribution to setting international tax rules and provide, according to each country's priorities, effective and sustainable technical assistance to other developing countries.”
Back in July, BRICS tax leaders signed a Memorandum of Cooperation in which they decided to “coordinate their response to G20 international taxation work, including the implementation of the OECD/G20 base erosion profit shifting (BEPS) plan work and the standards for automatic exchange of information.”
China to Contribute Training & Funding to BRICS Project
As part of this overall effort, as reported by MNE Tax, “China specifically pledged to train at least 150 taxation professionals from developing countries annually for the next two years.”
According to The Indian Express, the Chinese President Xi Jinping also vowed to “provide 500 million yuan ($76.4 million) for a BRICS economic and technology cooperation plan,” and an additional “$4 million for projects at the BRICS countries’ New Development Bank.”
Furthermore, China will contribute “US$500 million to support South-South cooperation,” which “will be used for fellow developing countries to tackle challenges such as famine, refugees, climate change and public health.”
BRICS to Battle Corruption, Money Laundering & Financial Terrorism
The five nations involved also emphasized the need to combat corruption, money laundering and financial terrorism.
“We acknowledge that corruption including illicit money and financial flows and ill-gotten wealth stashed in foreign jurisdictions is a global challenge which may impact negatively on economic growth and sustainable development. We will strive to coordinate our approach in this regard and encourage a stronger global commitment to prevent and combat corruption on the basis of the United Nations Convention against Corruption and other relevant international legal instruments,” they declared.
As part of this declaration, the BRICS nations “named two Pakistan-based terrorist groups, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad” as culprits of terrorism, sparking a reaction from the Pakistani government.
Pakistani Defence Minister Khurram Dastgir said, “We reject the declaration (released by member countries) at the BRICS Summit,” adding that the country does not proffer a “safe haven” to terrorism.
“Pakistan has taken action against all groups on its soil and only the remnants of some are left,” Dastgir concluded.
As reported by the Hindustan Times, other terrorist organizations listed included “Taliban, ISIL/DAISH, Al-Qaida and its affiliates, including Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, the Haqqani network…TTP and Hizb ut-Tahrir,”
Talking on what was accomplished during the three-day session, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “India has found that technology and digital resources are powerful tools in fighting poverty and corruption. Moving forward, using the springboard of our national experiences, BRICS countries can deepen partnership for win-win results.”
Egypt, Tajikistan, Thailand, Mexico and Kenya also participated in the BRICS Summit as guest countries.