Statement by IMF Deputy Managing Director Naoyuki Shinohara at the conclusion of the High Level Tax Conference in Tokyo, Japan

Press Release No. 12/34
February 3, 2012

The IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department and Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific hosted a High Level Tax Conference for Asian and Pacific Countries with Japan’s Ministry of Finance from January 31 to February 3, 2012, in Tokyo, Japan. Senior government officials from 18 countries in the region participated in the conference. Discussion topics included revenue mobilization measures, natural disasters and taxation, tax and inequality, tax gap analysis, climate financing, and how to combat tax fraud.

Mr. Naoyuki Shinohara, Deputy Managing Director of the IMF, issued the following statement today at the conclusion of the conference:

“The importance of sharing experiences on current tax issues needs no emphasis. In light of the current Euro area crisis, fiscal policy is at the heart of economic policy debates around the world. One of the most immediate global policy challenges is to address medium-term fiscal imbalances while supporting growth. This is especially true for Japan where fiscal consolidation will remain a priority. But some other Asian countries with low levels of public debt, such as China and Singapore, have more room to implement policies that support growth.

“While all eyes are on Europe right now, the Fund is continuing its effort to make Asia a key center of engagement. Asia emerged strongly from the 2008 financial crisis and remains the fastest growing economic region in the world. The IMF stands ready to work with Asia and support its efforts to contains the risks and address the challenges that the region faces."

“I’d like to thank our co-host, the Japanese Ministry of Finance, for its generous support of this annual conference. Japan is one of the most important contributors to the global economy and a key partner of the IMF. The country is an essential contributor to our loan resources and is also one of our most important partners in financing technical assistance.

“This year sees the 60th anniversary of Japan’s membership in the IMF and marking this, the IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings returns to Tokyo on October 12-13 after 48 years. With the Japanese spirit of resilience, diligence and warm hospitality, we are all looking forward to the Annual Meetings being a big success.”



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