Fighting tax avoidance and shadow banking

G20 summit Fighting tax avoidance and shadow banking

A roadmap for regulating shadow banking, measures to tackle tax avoidance and an action plan for robust economic growth – the outcomes of the G20 summit "are impressive" said Chancellor Angela Merkel. The situation in Syria was also on the agenda.

Angela Merkel deep in discussion with Enrico Letta, Barack Obama and David Cameron (left to right).

The Chancellor with President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron and Italy's Prime Minister Enrico Letta

Photo: Host Photo Agency

"We will have a plan as to how we can regulate shadow banking," underscored Angela Merkel after the deliberations of the 20 largest industrialised nations and emerging economies on the economic framework.

"It has been a tough fight." As well as a roadmap, the G20 nations also agreed that supervision and regulation should be introduced everywhere. "I think that would send a strong signal," said the Chancellor. The G20-finance ministers will be looking at this again at their next meeting.

Clamping down on tax avoidance

"We have made an important contribution to clamping down on tax avoidance," she continued. All G20 nations agreed to introduce an automatic exchange of information. "It is a very ambitious undertaking, but we believe that it is our duty."

On the issue of tax avoidance it was agreed that the proposals of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) should be endorsed. This is to ensure that in future multilateral businesses will have to pay taxes and will be unable to avoid doing so, reported Angela Merkel.

Exiting the euro crisis step by step

The international community is convinced that although the crisis in the euro zone is not yet over, confidence is being restored, declared the Chancellor. The crisis can be overcome step by step if structural reforms are pursued, and commitments respected. "Representatives of non-European countries too really have noticed that the first tentative signs of growth can now be seen in Europe."

"But the overall economic situation of the world was felt to be fragile," stressed the Chancellor. The difficulties of some emerging economies too were discussed. "Our general understanding is that in terms of economic development we are all interdependent, and this must be taken into account in the coordination of national policies."

No new trade restrictions 

In the fight against protectionism the current stand-still agreement, which guarantees that the G20 nations will not introduce any new protectionist measures, has been extended for another two years. "This is partly the result of German pressure and I believe it is a very positive signal."

"All in all, it is a good crop of results, a sound outcome for economic-policy coordination, which is the reason why the G20 was originally founded," summed up Angela Merkel. 

Controversial debate on Syria

On Thursday summit participants also discussed Syria. "The controversy over Syria was very much as had been predicted," said the Chancellor. "I nevertheless believe that it was important to have this discussion and for the international community to exchange views."

There was a broad consensus that it is vital to launch a political process. "I hope that countries like Russia and China will then also do their bit to ensure that a Geneva II conference takes place."

The opening session of the United Nations on 23 September could be the starting point for a political process of this sort. Germany will certainly be endeavouring to make this the starting point.

The Group of Twenty (G20) has been the central forum for international economic cooperation since 2009. Within the G20, the world’s leading industrialised nations and emerging economies consult and coordinate economic and financial policy actions. The motto of this year’s summit, held in the Russian city of St. Petersburg, was "Economic growth and employment". Australia is to host the next G20 summit in 2014.