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UNCTAD CSO XIV Forum: Investment & Tax Treaties– Impact on domestic policy space & revenue mobilization

Organizers: Global Alliance for Tax Justice (GATJ), Tax Justice Network- Africa (TJN-A) ActionAid International (AAI)

Date: Thursday, 21 July, 11:30 to-1:00pm

Short description: There is a widespread consensus across multilateral and development institutions that “harmful tax competition” and the ensuing tax incentives to attract FDI are detrimental to enhancing Domestic Resource Mobilisation. However, it is less so recognised that Double Tax Agreements (DTAs) and investment agreements take place within the context of tax competition and include implicit and explicit elements of tax incentives. Revisiting existing investment treaties as well as DTAs and refraining from signing new ones which  throw away tax concessions is key for developing countries to reduce forgone public revenue and enhance domestic resource mobilisation for their development.

In this session, four (4) presentations will focus on highlighting the emergence, evolution and impact of various bilateral agreements/treaties covering the areas of Investments and Tax within developing countries. The discussion will illustrate the importance of treaties as key determinants or constraints on countries ability, or lack thereof, to use various domestic industrial, taxation and investment policy instruments to advance their short term and long term development and economic transformation agendas. The session will place a special emphasis on double tax treaties between developed and developing countries and long term prospects for mobilizing domestic resources and promoting industrial growth in developing countries. Panelist will further explore the nexus and interaction of tax treaties and bilateral investment treaties.

Session Objectives;

  • To present a body of evidence illustrating the proliferation and changing nature of treaties between developed and developing countries
  • To highlight and present analysis showing the impact of treaty networks on developing countries
  • To provide a platform for discussion of alternative policy choices facing developing countries with regards to treaties
  • To present recommendations for developing countries policy makers aimed at improving treaty negotiation outcomes

Expected duration of the focus session: 1 hour 50 minutes

Proposed Speakers:

  • Presenter #1- ActionAid International representative.
  • Presenter #2 – TJN-A  representative
  • Presenter #3 – Ugandan Government Representative (TBC)
  • Presenter #4- GATJ representative

Contact Persons:

  • Dereje Alemayehu – Global Alliance for Tax Justice, Emailalemayehu@taxjusticeafrica.net
  • Jason  Braganza , Tax Justice Network – Africa, Email: jbraganza@taxjusticeafrica.net
  • Savior Mwambwa, ActionAid International ,  Email:savior.mwambwa@actionaid.org
14/07/2016

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About TJNA

The Tax Justice Network-Africa (TJN-A) is a Pan-African initiative and a member of the Global Alliance for Tax Justice. Launched in January 2007 during the World Social Forum (WSF) held in Nairobi, TJN-A promotes socially- just, accountable and progressive taxation systems in Africa. It advocates for tax policies with pro-poor outcomes and tax systems that curb public resource leakages and enhance domestic resource mobilisation.

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