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OECD Calls For Broader Tax Bases In MENA Territories

by Lorys Charalambous, Tax-News.com, Cyprus

12 October 2016


Middle Eastern and North African countries should press ahead with further economic and structural reforms to boost flagging trade and investment, restore public trust. and create jobs for the region's young population, the OECD told ministers from the region.

Opening the 2016 MENA-OECD Ministerial Meeting in Tunis, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria said the so-called Arab Spring has made it more crucial than ever for MENA countries to address uneven development, soaring youth unemployment, the low share of women in jobs, and high rates of inequality that may prevent parts of the population from participating in future economic gains. Regional instability, ongoing conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Libya, and Yemen, and unprecedented migration flows are piling new pressure on economies, he said.

On tax policy, the OECD emphasized that it is committed to working alongside the territories' governments to devise policies to enhance tax collections and in particular to expand the tax burden from the few individuals and businesses that pay taxes in these countries currently. The OECD in particular emphasized the importance of introducing value-added taxes and, where these are absent, income taxes. Further, it called for a reduction in tax exemptions.

TAGS: individuals | tax | investment | business | value added tax (VAT) | Syria | Iraq | Libya | Yemen | unemployment | trade | Africa | Middle East

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