MANILA, PHILIPPINES (24 November 2021) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and governments in Asia and the Pacific must work together to improve domestic resource mobilization (DRM) and expand international tax cooperation (ITC) to help future generations avoid unsustainable debt and persistent inequality.
Developing Asia needs substantial and predictable revenue streams to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, including greater climate change ambitions, expanded health coverage, and more effective social protection. The Asia Pacific Tax Hub aims to help ADB’s developing member countries (DMCs) to more effectively mobilize domestic resources to address these needs.
“I encourage governments to commit to working with the Tax Hub to address these challenges as they support their medium-term development,” said ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa. “I would like to see increased sharing and exchange of experiences and best practices in reforms across the region, to ensure stronger and more coordinated implementation of tax reform. This will lead to higher revenues and social spending which are badly needed in our DMCs.”
ADB set up the Asia Pacific Tax Hub in May 2021 to help its DMCs mobilize domestic resources more effectively. The hub will serve as an open and inclusive platform to promote strategic policy dialogue, improve knowledge sharing, and strengthen coordination on tax policy and administration. Since its inception, the Tax Hub has conducted consultations with more than 40 ADB members, development partners, and tax associations and received strong support for a region-wide forum to exchange views and learn from the reform experience of other countries.
During the conference, ADB announced the setting up of a Foundational Steering Committee (FSC) that will lead the Tax Hub and chart its future activities. It will be headed by Michael Keen, a tax expert and former Deputy Director of the Fiscal Affairs Department at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and comprised of representatives from ADB DMCs, donors—including ADB—nonborrowing members, and regional tax associations. The committee will adopt an inclusive approach to charting out the future course of the Tax Hub, its governance structure, and future steering committees.
“We must act now to mobilize domestic resources that expand fiscal space, maintain intergenerational equity, and meet the development challenges of our times—including recovery from the pandemic and climate change,” Mr. Asakawa said.
He was joined in the opening session of the conference by IMF’s Director of Fiscal Affairs Department Vitor Gaspar; World Bank Group Vice-President for Equitable Growth, Finance, and Institutions Indermit Gill; and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Centre for Tax Policy and Administration Director Pascal Saint-Amans. These organizations are ADB’s key partners in implementing a robust DRM and ITC agenda in the region.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.