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Views from the Center

CGD experts offer ideas and analysis to improve international development policy. Also check out our Global Health blog and US Development Policy blog.

 

Why Development Finance Institutions Use Tax Havens

Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) exist to promote development by investing in the poorest, least developed countries. They often route those investments via holding companies or private equity funds domiciled in tax havens. On the face of it, that seems absurd: tax havens are widely seen as a drain on development, depriving cash-strapped governments of billions of dollars in public revenue. In a new paper I argue that whilst widespread opposition to DFIs investing via tax havens is understandable, it is misguided. Banning the use of tax havens would do more harm than good. 

Davos Secrets: Swiss Trade Opacity and Illicit Flows from Developing Countries

This week the World Economic Forum holds its annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. As the great and good gather to chart the direction of the global economy, there will be much talk of development, of transparency, and of the importance of trade. In light of our new research showing that Switzerland’s recent emergence as a global commodity trading hub might hide large illicit capital flows, participants may want to raise some questions with their hosts.

Open Ownership: UK Leads

This morning at the Open Government Partnership summit in London, David Cameron announced the result of the UK’s consultation on the beneficial ownership of companies: the information will not only be collected but be put online, for free, in a public register.