14 Jan 2014

Study assesses development impact of Swiss DTAs

World Trade Institute (WTI) researchers Elisabeth Bürgi Bonanomi and Sathi Meyer‐Nandi have produced a study on Swiss policy regarding double taxation agreements (DTAs) with developing countries.

The study, "Swiss Double Taxation Agreements: Current Policy and Relevance for Development", was conducted on behalf of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and has just been released by the Swiss government.

At the beginning of the new millennium, the world community decided to halve the number of people living in absolute poverty by 2015. The goal was set of establishing transparent and effective tax systems in all developing countries, ensuring a fair division of tax revenues between states and creating favourable conditions for investment in developing countries. DTAs can support or impede these goals, depending on how they are framed, according to the executive summary.

The study examines the impacts of these agreements on developing countries and recommends ways of making them more supportive of development. It also examines the issue of tax information exchange from the point of view of development policy, and considers DTAs in light of hotly debated topics such as “transfer mispricing” and international competition for tax revenues.