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Asia Pacific Tax Hub Launch Today, Climate Change On Top Of 54th ADB Annual Meeting

The Asia Pacific Tax Hub will be launched today. The new initiative will be launched during the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) 54th Annual Meeting held virtually from today till Wednesday.
03 May 2021 11:51
Asia Pacific Tax Hub Launch Today, Climate Change On Top Of 54th ADB Annual Meeting

The Asia Pacific Tax Hub will be launched today.

The new initiative will be launched during the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) 54th Annual Meeting held virtually from today till Wednesday. The events will feature high-profile speakers including Finance Ministers from ADB members, development and industry experts, and ADB Management.

About the annual meeting 

The Annual Meeting of the ADB Board of Governors is an opportunity to provide guidance on ADB administrative, financial, and operational directions.

ADB’s annual meetings have become a premier forum for the discussion of economic and social development issues in Asia and the Pacific. The theme for this year’s annual meeting is “Collaborating for a Resilient and Green Recovery.” ADB has worked together with our DMCs to support their responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the focus shifts to recovery, many issues and challenges come to the fore, and the Annual Meeting discussions is an excellent opportunity to look at different approaches for a green, resilient recovery.

During the Annual Meeting, Pacific developing member governors will also have an opportunity to discuss:

  • planning for COVID recovery,
  • including opening borders and blue-green investments, and
  • opportunities of working together regionally.

The Asia Pacific Tax Hub 

In an interview with Leah Gutierrez, Director General, Pacific Department, ADB and Muhammad Ehsan Khan, The Secretary, ADB, they highlighted the core functions of the Pacific Tax Hub.

Ms Gutierrez said: “Many of ADB’s developing member countries (DMCs), including in the Pacific, face significant pressure in their budget and public debt resulting from large-scale countercyclical packages and tax relief measures.”

Mr Khan says: Strengthening domestic resource mobilisation (DRM) and international tax co-operation (ITC) has become an important strategic priority for ADB.

“The Asia Pacific Tax Hub will focus on promoting domestic resource mobilisation and international tax co-operation through close collaboration among finance and tax authorities of developing economies; international organisations such as;

  • ADB,
  • International Monetary Fund (IMF),
  • Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD),
  • World Bank; and
  • regional tax associations.

“The regional hub will provide institutional and capacity development and promote knowledge sharing across partners and members and collaboration across development partners.

“Pacific members will be able to draw assistance from this Tax Hub, which will help planning for recovery in the post-pandemic period.

“ADB will also mainstream domestic resource mobilisation and international tax co-operation in its operations,” he says.

Mr Khan added it would include technical assistance and policy-based lending to help governments enhance their capacity for domestic resource mobilisation and adoption of international tax standards.

Screenshot 2021-05-03 at 11.37.16 AM

ADB members

ADB has 68 members. Fourteen of which are developing member countries from the Pacific – Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshal Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

Raising the Bar on Climate Ambition: Road to COP 26

Climate change will be one of the important agendas and there will also be some major climate change related announcements made during this year’s annual meeting

The curtain raiser event today, on Re-Imagining Asia and the Pacific in a Post-Pandemic World: A Conversation with President Masa Asakawa and international journalist, Zeinab Badawi, will highlight some of the importat topics.

“The President will be discussing his views about the path forward towards a green, resilient and inclusive recovery in our region and how ADB is addressing climate change in light of COP 26.”

Mr Khan says they are delighted and honoured to have Attorney-General and Minister for Economy, and the ADB Governor for Fiji, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum join them for the climate change/COP 26 event and the Business Session with ADB Governors.

“There is a seminar/event on Raising the Bar on Climate Ambition: Road to COP 26 which will have Mr Sayed-Khaiyum as one of the distinguished panellists.”

Focus of the Climate seminar ADB highlights: 

The global community is facing two generation-defining challenges—recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic and responding to climate change.

COVID-19 tragically exposed how unprepared we are to respond to shocks and the threat is multiplied by the climate crisis.

This seminar tomorrow aims to encourage dialogue on raising climate action ambition in the region by

(i) highlighting how a green, resilient, and inclusive recovery can stimulate economic activity, while laying the foundation for a transformative shift toward resilient net-zero emissions societies;

(ii) sharing experiences from countries that have recently embraced ambitious long-term national climate plans; and

(iii) underlining the critical role of finance in the global climate agenda.

“ADB is a trusted and reliable partner of Fiji and all our Pacific developing member countries.

“Now and always, we join you all in your quest to uplift the well-being of your people. “I therefore encourage everyone to register for the Annual Meeting and be a part of charting our future together.”

Last year John F. Kerry was sworn in as the first special presidential envoy for climate in the U.S and the first-ever principal to sit on the National Security Council entirely dedicated to climate change. He is also on the panellist.

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj



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