The Chief Minister, the Hon Fabian Picardo QC MP, today attended the 10th Anniversary Meeting of the Global Forum of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (‘OECD’).

Also attending with the Chief Minister were Financial Secretary Albert Mena, Commissioner for Income Tax, John Lester and Finance Centre Director, Jimmy Tipping.

The meeting was held at the OECD headquarters in Paris.

Addressing the meeting’s opening session, Angel Gurria, the Secretary General of the OECD, commented on the progress that has been made in the decade since the work of the Global Forum had commenced. He was supported in his remarks by the French Minister for Finance, Bruno Le Maire, who called for a debate to start on a global minimum corporate tax rate to be introduced, with France proposing a rate of 12.5%,only 2.5% more than Gibraltar’s current rate of 10%. These remarks were followed by statements from EU Commissioner Pierre Moscovicci, who was appearing for his last public engagement as an EU Commissioner.

Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar said that it considers that Gibraltar’s presence at the OECD anniversary meeting is a demonstration to the world of our commitment to tax transparency and compliance with international rules in respect of the exchange of tax information on a level playing field basis. In fact, a quote from the Chief Minister was chosen as one of twenty quotes displayed during the whole of the day on a scrolling basis on the video screens throughout the OECD building and the conference arena itself. The chosen quote read as follows: “Gibraltar’s close participation in the Global Forum from the outset has helped to further consolidate its reputation at the forefront of internationally cooperative and compliant mainstream financial centres.”

Mr Picardo said: “Gibraltar has been working with the OECD for more than a decade. I attended the meeting of the OECD in Berlin in 2014 when Gibraltar became a signatory to the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance, which I signed as Minister for Finance. Our signature of that instrument has put us in a good place to show the world that Gibraltar is a compliant jurisdiction and one that maintains the highest standards of regulation and exchange of information. That really helps to put in context the nonsensical attacks we suffer from some who suggest that Gibraltar is somehow not at the forefront of international cooperation. I am very clear that the only business model that will work in future is one based on compliance and transparency. As the world changes and becomes more and more digital and globalised, and data is more easily searched and mined, there will be no real or legitimate business to be done in pretending to assist people to hide money from other tax authorities. My presence at this important meeting of the OECD sends that signal and has also enabled me to meet the Ministers of Finance and Exchange of Information of many other countries in the world.”