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OECD names and shames tax havens

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, meeting in Paris, has published a list of tax-havens, in an increasingly hard-hitting drive to clamp down on banking centres which thrive off investments by foreigners evading tax.

Nearly three dozen off-shore centres were named, including Liechtenstein, which has a customs and currency union with Switzerland. The report will serve as a warning and give those identified one year to change their policies.

Last week, an international report by the G7's Financial Action Task Force listed 15 countries for failing to deal sufficiently with money-laundering. Switzerland, despite its banking secrecy laws, was not among the countries named on either list.

The Swiss economics ministry said the OECD conference is also an important step towards a new round of world trade talks, organised by the Geneva-based World Trade Organisation. It said economic growth, technological advance and trade issues would be to the fore.

Swiss officials said the economics minister Pascal Couchepin is likely to press the conference for measures to ensure that the balance between social, economic and environmental concerns is maintained as the world economy expands.

swissinfo with agencies


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