UN: better tax collection would boost Asia Pacific economies

8 Aug 14
Developing countries in Asia and the Pacific should strengthen their tax collection regimes in order to combat continually flagging economic growth, the United Nations has suggested.

By Judith Ugwumadu | 8 August 2014

Developing countries in Asia and the Pacific should strengthen their tax collection regimes in order to combat continually flagging economic growth, the United Nations has suggested.

Its Economic and social survey of Asia and the Pacific called on the region to act quickly and ‘unlock its fiscal space’ to help stimulate growth and support social development. The survey found that growth is expected to fall below 6% this year for the third year in a row.

Structural constraints, such as infrastructure and development deficits were keeping the region from reaching its economic potential, the UN said. It set out a blueprint to help the region strengthen its tax revenues to mobilise public spending, help pay down debt and offset dwindling international aid.

The report estimated that closing the existing tax gaps in 16 Asia-Pacific developing economies would increase total revenues by more than $300bn and boost tax revenues by over 70% in some countries.

To achieve this, the survey recommended broadening tax bases, tackling tax evasion and tax fraud, making tax administration efficient,care introduction of tax reforms and better regional cooperation.

It also proposed the creation of an Asia-Pacific Tax Forum of experts and officials to coordinate and monitor tax legislation and regulations across the region.

Shamshad Akhtar, executive secretary of the UN economic and social commission for Asia and the Pacific, said: ‘The constrained domestic growth prospects of the region have underlined the importance of productive counter-cyclical public spending to support inclusive growth and sustainable development.’

 

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