BEIJING: The UAE has been elected as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Belt and Road Initiative Tax Administration Organisation.

This came during the Belt and Road Initiative Tax Administration Cooperation Forum, which concluded on April 20 in China where Khalid Ali Al Bustani, Director General of the Federal Tax Authority (FTA), led a UAE delegation to the three-day event.

The forum explored ways to foster greater cooperation among BRI countries to create an environment that catalyses economic development, offers advanced services to taxpayers, enhances international economic cooperation and removes obstacles blocking cross-border trade and investment, in addition to fostering a better exchange of expertise and information among all BRI countries.

“This step helps establish clear processes to facilitate cooperation in tax matters among the countries covered by the Initiative, which are expected to be 70 in number and home to 4.4 billion people,” he added. “The BRI Tax Administration Cooperation Mechanism will facilitate the flow of information among tax authorities in BRI countries.”

The delegation also participated in several meetings at the Forum, which brings together all member states of the Board, as well as observer countries, international multilateral organisations, tax experts and representatives of international private companies.

The meetings led to the launch of five major initiatives to support international cooperation on taxes among BRI countries. First, provide solutions that raise awareness of tax laws to ensure compliance, and second, develop mechanisms to resolve tax disputes. Third, support capacity building in tax authorities in BRI countries by establishing joint training centres to coach employees in these departments, where four centres have been announced as a first stage, located in Macau, mainland China, and Kazakhstan, and providing training is in three languages: Chinese, English and Portuguese.

The fourth initiative seeks to facilitate compliance for taxpayers by reducing the number of documents required and providing information, while the fifth and final initiative seeks to develop tax systems by automating them.

During the forum’s discussions, the Supervisory Board adopted a plan of action to ensure cooperation among tax authorities in BRI countries in these five sectors. The Board also adopted a mechanism to guide communication with the private sector regarding taxes to achieve the highest levels of compliance.

Al Bustani took part in panel discussion at the Forum, where he stressed that the “UAE’s participation in these meetings is essential for familiarising countries around the world with the UAE’s tax system and its implementation tactics.”