Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development

Negotiating the AfCFTA Investment Protocol: An Opportunity for Africa to Set its Own Investment Facilitation Agenda

In order to decide whether to include IF in the AfCFTA and how, African policymakers should be aware of all these different approaches and dynamics around Investment Facilitation to be able to set their own priorities in this relatively “new” area in international investment law, crafting an innovative and holistic approach for their future investment protocol. To date, international and regional approaches in IF are still in the making – making it easier for policymakers to identify what works best for Africa. In the process, policymakers can also leverage their own cutting-edge reform efforts on investment protection and regulation, and set a regional standard as a rule-maker – which could, in turn, influence ongoing or other future global processes on this topic.

The Role of Regional Competition Regimes in Supporting International Enforcement Cooperation

This blog post discusses the role of regional competition regimes (RCRs) in supporting international enforcement cooperation. The appetite for trade among nations has been insatiable over the past several decades. As cross-border trade and business transactions increased, there was also widespread adoption of competition laws and an increased number of competition enforcement authorities around the world, both at the national level and regional level. As a result, there has also been an increase in the cross-border nature of business conduct investigated by competition authorities.

Southern African Regional Competition Regimes – Where are we today?

This article ponders on the developments in the Southern African cooperation in competition enforcement through some of the regional economic instruments, namely, the 2002 Southern African Customs Union (SACU) Agreement, the 2004 Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Competition Regulations, the 2009 Southern African Development Community (SADC)[2] Declaration on regional cooperation in competition and consumer policies, and the African Competition Forum (ACF). In this regard, I briefly touch on the importance of regional cooperation in enforcing competition regulation, the challenges faced in the implementation of Southern African regional competition regimes (RCRs), and the reasons why these RCRs face these challenges.

The Role of International Soft Law in Tax Reform: Multilateralism at the Seams

On July 1, 2021, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) secured the votes of 130 members out of 139 members of the Inclusive Framework, on a two-pillar plan to reform the global tax rules. Notably, two African countries—Kenya and Nigeria—, active members of the Inclusive Framework withheld their support for this plan, which has been described by many as “historic”. Nigeria is a major economic force in West Africa and the largest economy, by GDP, on the African continent. Kenya is East Africa’s gateway and the region’s largest economy. What must have influenced their decisions not to support a historic global tax reform, and what are the consequences of such action?

Roadmap to the digital tax debate for developing countries

This article reviews the policy advancements on digital taxation, the individual initiatives that some developed countries have enacted, and considers some recommendations for developing countries to address future changes. It also contains a brief analysis of the Ecuadorian VAT reform for digital services and other possible options that need to be considered by the country.

Taxing the Digital Economy in Latin America and the Caribbean: What can be done

The aim of this contribution is to suggest some courses of action for Latin America and the Caribbean (hereinafter, LAC) in relation to the taxation of the digital economy. For this purpose, after a brief description of the international background on direct and indirect taxation, I refer to the state of play in the LAC region, making a few preliminary considerations and presenting some generalities on the measures that have been adopted. Finally, I will share some thoughts and recommendations.

Tax Evasion in Latin America and the Caribbean: An Urgent Call for Attention in the Most Unequal Region in the World

The primary objective of this post is to highlight the importance and gravity of the existing tax evasion in Latin America and the Caribbean today. A study conducted by Santiago Diaz de Sarralde Miguez reports that Latin America and the Caribbean are characterized by a relatively low tax burden, which averages 22.8% of GDP. That is 11.5% less than the OECD (2015). While it is true that there are large differences between countries, as the tax burden varies from 12.4% in Guatemala to 38.6% in Cuba.

The role of sub-national governments in ‘localising’ the UN SDGs in Nigeria

Evidence from Nigeria’s 2017 NVR indicates that the strategic framework for operationalising the SDG goals are far from localised. This top-down approach for designing SDG policies in Nigeria does not encourage SNGs to ‘foster actual ownership of the goals and embody their vision of the future in concrete actions and initiatives. Localising the SDGs is not a magic bullet solution to development problems in Nigeria; however, the involvement of SNGs as collaborators and co-designers of rules is crucial to the successful attainment of the SDGs. Especially, as funding is a significant impediment to the actualisation of the SDG goals, the federal government and SNGs must work in tandem to create innovative solutions.

Remedying the Power Imbalance in Negotiations for Bilateral Tax Treaties

Developing countries are currently disadvantaged in the international tax regime. The control of the developed countries in the tax regime is evidenced in their influence in the creation of the major model tax treaties that are used as the starting point for nearly all bilateral tax treaties today. With the rise of multilateral tax instruments and an awareness of the dubious flow of tax revenue out of already disadvantaged countries, developing countries should consider renegotiating their bilateral tax treaties to ensure a more balanced international tax system that is designed for their benefit.