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article imagePanama president vows tax cooperation with OECD: Kyodo

By AFP     Apr 18, 2016 in Business

Visiting Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela told a Japanese news agency on Monday that his country would cooperate with an OECD initiative to share tax information in the wake of the "Panama Papers" scandal.

Varela said in an interview with Kyodo News that Panama has "decided to join the common reporting standards," referring to the measures on exchanging financial account information with tax authorities set by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Panama is scrambling to avert redesignation as a tax haven that assist money laundering after the disclosure of the offshore dealings of many of the world's wealthy, famous and infamous in the so-called "Panama Papers" revelations.

The scandal, which has already brought down the Icelandic prime minister and Spain's industry minister, came when millions of documents covering nearly 40 years of business were leaked from the archives of the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.

"The OECD's technical team is coming to Panama this week and we are going to meet and find ways to come to an agreement," said Varela, who plans to meet Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during his visit to Japan.

OECD head Angel Gurria said last week that Isabel De Saint Malo, vice president of the Central American country, had called him to express willingness to cooperate with his organisation.

The Panamanian vice president, who is also the foreign minister, told AFP earlier this month that her country would deepen talks with the OECD on sharing tax information.

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