On 9 October, Eurodad took part in an international conference on tax evasion and financial transparency in Seoul, South Korea. The highly topical conference was jointly organised with our Korean partner, People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD). Cracking down on offshore tax evasion has become a top priority for South Korean tax authorities since the first release of offshore stories by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) last May.
The conference brought together about 60 participants, including experts on tax evasion from Korean academia and civil society and international guests from Eurodad and the Asian branch of the Financial Transparency Coalition, based in New Delhi, India.
It provided a great opportunity for inspiring discussions about how civil society can strengthen existing legislation to tackle tax evasion and financial transparency in South Korea. A bill is currently being prepared in collaboration with national parliamentarians that will expose the real ownership of companies operating in South Korea.
Speakers and participants exchanged advocacy experiences at national (see presentation by PSPD) and international levels (see presentations by Eurodad and the Financial Transparency Coalition). In particular, there were heated discussions around two measures that are key to ending secrecy: establishing public registries of real company owners; and automatic information exchange between tax authorities.
The discussions also highlighted how Korean civil society could join forces with global civil society networks such as the Global Alliance for Tax Justice and the Financial Transparency Coalition to support their domestic advocacy actions.
Note: you can find pictures from the Conference at http://www.peoplepower21.org/Tax/1084424