Brasilia: The BRICS nations on Thursday reaffirmed their commitment to fighting corruption, and joining multilateral efforts in denying safe haven to economic and corruption offenders and facilitate the repatriation of proceeds of crime.
In a statement, the BRICS nations said: "We reaffirm our commitment to fight corruption, inter alia, through the strengthening of domestic legal frameworks, as appropriate, to more effectively address cases of corruption. We remain committed to adopting integrity measures in the public sector and promoting integrity standards in private enterprises and to build a stronger global commitment to a culture of intolerance towards corruption.
"We will maintain our ongoing efforts on anti-corruption law enforcement cooperation and returning of assets, including on civil and administrative proceedings. We will make full use of the BRICS Meeting on Asset Recovery and strengthen experience-sharing and case-cooperation on asset recovery among BRICS countries.
"We will enhance our exchange of views within multilateral frameworks such as UNCAC (United Nations Convention against Corruption) and the G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group, with the aim of joining efforts in denying safe haven to economic and corruption offenders and to facilitate the repatriation of proceeds of crime," it said.
The five countries of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, also acknowledged the continued support provided by the BRICS Revenue Authorities towards implementation of the global standards on transparency and exchange of information and the minimum standards against Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) - which refers to corporate tax planning strategies used by multinationals to "shift" profits from higher-tax jurisdictions to lower tax jurisdictions, thus "eroding" the "tax-base" of the higher-tax jurisdictions.
"We remain committed to addressing the tax challenges of the digitalization of the economy. We look forward to furthering progress in the discussion of the two-pillar approach developed by the Inclusive Framework on BEPS.
"We welcome the recent achievement on tax transparency including the progress on automatic exchange of information for tax purposes.
"We call on all jurisdictions to sign and ratify the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters. We remain committed to enhancing our efforts on the prevention of base erosion and profit shifting, exchange of tax information, and needs-based cap capacity building for developing countries. We commit to deepen exchanges and sharing of experiences and best practices, as well as to mutual learning in taxation matters," the joint statement said.
The joint statement also noted the progress achieved by the BRICS Customs Administrations regarding the draft BRICS Customs Mutual Administrative Assistance Agreement and directed their respective appropriate authorities "to work towards its early conclusion and entry into force".
"We also welcome the substantial progress made in the implementation of the Strategic Framework of BRICS Customs Cooperation, especially with regard to the BRICS Authorized Economic Operator Program, which should be functional by the end of 2022, including the mutual recognition of controls and economic operators.
"We also acknowledge the positive practice of establishing BRICS Custom Training Centres and direct the pertinent authorities to continue this approach in the future. We recognize the potential of the BRICS Customs Cooperation Committee and call for enhanced intraBRICS cooperation at relevant multilateral fora, including in trade facilitation, law enforcement, use of advanced information technologies and capacity building," it said.
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