Sustainable development cannot be maintained in the long term unless sufficient government revenue to provide an adequate level of public goods and services can be mobilised in the countries of the Global South themselves. Without this it will be impossible to overcome the dependence on foreign donors that is the present lot of the poorest countries. Mobilisation of state revenue requires effective taxation systems and transparent and democratically determined budgets that cover the financing of key development tasks. In many countries a significantly larger proportion of GDP could be used to finance public expenditures.
Corporations have devised various ways of getting their money out of a country without paying tax. If transnational companies are to be more honest in their tax affairs, their payment flows must be transparent. This can be achieved through country-by-country or project-by-project reporting.
"Country-by-Country Reporting reporting requirements for corporations – a contribution to strengthening public finances in countries in the Global South" (the slightly updated English summary of a paper published in German in August 2013) explores what opportunities lie in the concept of country-by-country reporting. Furthermore it gives an introduction into new regulations devised on the European level for new reporting requirements for the extractive and logging industries as well as banks. Finally the paper sheds some light on where the developments towards more corporate transparency might be leading us.
Country-by-country reporting requirements for corporations – a contribution to strengthening public finances in countries in the Global South
Author: Wolfgang Obenland
Published by MISEREOR, Global Policy Forum and Brot für die Welt
Aachen/ Berlin/ Bonn, January 2014