In November 2013, the G20 supported an action plan of the OECD against the ‘[tax] base erosion and profit shifting’ (BEPS), i.e. tax avoidance, by multinational companies. This plan is now being worked out by the members of the OECD and the G20 – a total of 44 states – till the end of 2015. In addition, the OECD has made efforts to encourage the participation of developing countries. However, this was limited to regional consultations, Markus Henn reports.
What is more, the action plan itself was, from the outset, rather focused on the problems of richer states. It does not seriously discuss how corporate profits – and thus taxes – can be distributed more equitably between the less and more developed countries where corporations operate. This is not surprising, since the previous OECD tax standards were tailored to their members, especially the model for tax treaties. For that reason, the United Nations has now developed its own standards for tax treaties and for taxing multinational corporations, taking into account the interests of the poorer states. However, the United Nations was sidelined again by the G20 and the OECD, and the UN does not play a big role in the BEPS process ...
At first glance, everyday life seems not to have changed in Istanbul. The streets are congested; people hurry to the ferry or the bus. For weeks, there has been no terror attack. Nevertheless, there are some visible changes. There are much more policemen in the streets. In some days, the Istiklal Caddesi, the main shopping street on the European side, seems to be under a state of siege. At every street corner, there is police van with the blue light switched on.
Recent disturbing trends in international finance have particularly problematic implications, especially for developing countries. The new United Nations report, World Economic Situation and Prospects 2017 (WESP 2017), is the only recent report of a multilateral inter-governmental organization to recognize these problems, especially as they are relevant to the financing requirements for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Trump government signals unequivocally the end of international US hegemony. An international hegemon is able to define rules that find relatively broad acceptance internationally and plays a role in safeguarding international economic stability. The Trump government announced measures that go against the present economic rules while not proposing new ones.
The global deficit in quality jobs and deteriorating economic conditions in a number of regions threatens to undo decades of progress in poverty reduction, warns a new report by the International Labour Organization (ILO), the World Employment and Social Outlook (WESO) 2016.
Weakening of workers' rights in most regions is being aggravated by severe crackdowns on freedom of speech and assembly, according to the 2016 Global Rights Index. Restrictions on freedom of speech and assembly, including severe crackdowns in some countries, increased by 22%, with 50 out of 141 countries surveyed recording restrictions.