May 5: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Monday (May 3) launched the Asia Pacific Tax Hub to create an open and inclusive platform to promote strategic policy dialogue, improve knowledge sharing, and strengthen coordination on tax policy and administration among ADB, its members, and development partners.
ADB said in a statement that the hub will maximize regional and international resources to strengthen domestic resource mobilization (DRM) and international tax cooperation (ITC) in ADB’s developing member countries (DMCs).
“Domestic resource mobilization has emerged as a major strategic priority for our DMCs at this moment. It will be vital in the effort to address debt sustainability and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals,” the statement quoted ADB President Masatsuga Asakawa as saying in a seminar at ADB’s 54th Annual Meeting.
“The lack of a pan-regional tax community has been a unique and significant shortcoming for Asia and the Pacific. To address this, I would like to announce today the official launch of the Asia Pacific Tax Hub,” he added.
According to ADB, the hub will support DMCs on three main building blocks – preparation of medium-term revenue strategies (MTRS); roadmaps for the automation of tax administration, and proactive participation in international tax initiatives.
The hub aims to play a key role by stimulating regional dialogue and knowledge sharing on needed reforms. Through the hub, ADB will coordinate closely with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to support DMCs as they formulate country-specific MTRS, with activities such as regional workshops in collaboration with the Platform for Collaboration on Tax and diagnostic tools like the Tax Administration Diagnostic Assessment Tool.
It will also conduct needs assessments to prepare roadmaps for the automation of tax administrations in DMCs, and support their implementation in collaboration with development partners and leading countries in this area.
ADB said it is establishing a secretariat to operationalize the hub and plans to organize a Steering Committee to bring together key development partners and DMCs willing to actively engage in the hub. It will work closely together with the hub secretariat to lead the operation of the hub.
The hub will organize a first High-Level Conference by the fourth quarter of 2021 to report on progress and discuss next steps on the three building blocks of the hub, including details of the operations of the hub secretariat and Steering Committee.