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Transparency’s Tipping Point: The 7th Financial Transparency Conference

Marina Conference Center, Helsinki, Finland

October 24 - 25, 2017

Conference

From the halls of the United Nations and G20 Summits to the streets of cities across the world, illicit financial flows are becoming a hotly debated topic. High profile leaks like the Panama Papers have drawn the public’s attention to the extreme secrecy available for the right price. When trillions of dollars flow through a shadow financial system beyond public scrutiny, citizens of rich and poor countries both lose. Northern governments under pressure to stop illicit financial flows have been outspoken in communiqués and press releases, but 3 of the top 5 secrecy jurisdictions still lie in Europe and the U.S. This, coupled with a number of recent backslides on financial transparency, makes a concerted push all the more timely.

At the 7th Financial Transparency Conference, we’ll bring together civil society, government officials, journalists and policy experts to discuss the problem of illicit financial flows, while brainstorming new ways to combat its effects on growth and development in our respective countries. By igniting debates with a variety of stakeholders, we’ll aim to move the discussion forward on issues like financing for development, the role of gatekeepers to the financial sector, bringing transparency to company ownership and public reporting for multinational corporations.

Conference Agenda

Tuesday, 24 October

8:15 – 9:00        Registration

9:00 – 9:30       Welcoming Remarks from the Financial Transparency Coalition and Kepa

 Keynote Address  from Kai Mykkänen, Finnish Minister of Foreign Trade and Development

9:30 – 11:00     Plenary Session – What exactly is an illicit financial flow? The crucial role of data and politics play in reducing illicit financial flows and reaching sustainable development goals           

Speakers:

Dereje Alemayehu, Chair, Global Alliance for Tax Justice
Peter Chowla, Economic Affairs Officer, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
Towfiqul Islam Khan, Research Fellow, Centre for Policy Dialogue
Maya Forstater, Visiting Fellow, Center for Global Development
Savior Mwambwa, Interim Director, Financial Transparency Coalition

11:00 – 11:30    Coffee/Tea Break

11:30 – 13:00     Breakout Sessions I

Extracting the truth –​ ​how data is used in the extractive industries, and why more transparency is still needed

Speakers:

Lyydia Kilpi, Policy Advisor Tax Justice and Corporate Responsibility, Kepa
Dominic Eagleton, Senior Campaigner, Global Witnesses
Stephen Abbott Pugh, Project Manager, Open Data for Tax Justice at Open Knowledge International
Kaisa Toroskainen, Research and Data Officer, Natural Resource Governance Institute
Lauri Finér, Tax Policy Advisor to the Social Democratic Party

Who are the gatekeepers of the global financial system? The Panama Papers highlighted the key role of lawyers, accountants, bankers and corporate service providers

Speakers:

Max Haywood, Programme Coordinator, Transparency International
François Godbout, Programme Officer, Pan African Lawyers Union
Khadija Sharif, Investigative Journalist/ Researcher and Africa Editor, Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project
Duncan Hames, Director of Policy, Transparency International UK
Sonja Vartiala, Executive Director, Finnwatch

 13:00 – 14:30     Lunch

14:30 – 16:00     Plenary Session – Building an inclusive narrative on illicit flows: Seeing gender equality and human rights as integral to tackling illicit cash

Speakers:

Kathleen Lahey , Professor at the Faculty of Law, Queen’s University
Betsy Apple, Advocacy Director, Open Society Justice Initiative
Mae Buenaventura, Deputy Coordinator, Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development
Matti Kohonen, Principal Adviser – Private Sector, Christian Aid
Ignacio Saiz, Executive Director, Center for Economic and Social Rights

16:00 – 17:30     Side Meetings with Coffee/Tea Available

Side Event with Fair Tax Finland: Developing a Fair Tax Mark for Local Authorities and Private Corporations

18:00 – 20:00    Welcome Reception at Ravintola Sipuli

Ravintola Sipuli is located at Kanavaranta 7, a short walk from the conference venue

Wednesday, 25 October

8:30 – 9:00           Registration

9:00 – 10:30        Plenary Session – What’s the state of progress on Beneficial Ownership Transparency globally?

Speakers:

Heather Lowe, Legal Counsel and Director of Government Affairs, Global Financial Integrity
Madeleine McCarroll, Governance and Transparency Manager, The B Team
Jason Rosario Braganza, Deputy Director, Tax Justice Network Africa
Juan Argibay, Coordinator for Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing, PROCELAC
Hera Hussain, Senior Advocacy Manager, Open Contracting Partnership

10:30 – 11:00     Coffee/Tea Break

11:00 – 12:30     Breakout Sessions II

Building Influence and Creating Change: turning a global conversation into local action

Speakers:

Eric LeCompte, Executive Director, Jubilee USA Network
Jane Nalunga, Country Director, SEATINI Uganda
Thomas Wallgren, Co-Chair, Fair Tax Finland
Christiane Schuppert, Senior Advisor – Combatting Illicit Financial Flows, GIZ
Ming Zhuang, Director, Participation Center China
Gary Kalman, Executive Director, The FACT Coalition

12:30 – 14:00     Lunch

14:00 – 15:30     Who makes the Rules on Illicit Financial Flows?

Speakers:

Frankie Mbuyamba, Research Manager, African Tax Administrators Forum
Manuel Montes, Senior Advisor, Finance and Development at the South Centre
Everline Aketch, National Union of Educational Institutions and Public Services International
Katiuska King, Former Minister Coordinator of Economic Policy of Ecuador
Pooja Rangaprasad, Policy Coordinator, Financial Transparency Coalition

15:30 – 16:00     Closing Reflections

16:00                     Side Meetings with Coffee/Tea Available

Logistics

The conference will take place October 24-25, 2017 at the Marina Congress Center, located at Katajanokanlaituri 6, 00160 Helsinki, Finland.

Accommodation

The FTC has reserved a limited block of hotel rooms at a special conference rate at the Scandic Grand Marina Hotel, which serves the Marina Congress Center. The Hotel is conveniently located across the street from the conference venue. Reservations should be made before October 8th through Scandic’s official website using the booking code BFTC221017. Please note that a credit card will be required to complete the booking.

Conference participants are also welcome to seek alternative accommodation at their own discretion. There is a variety of hotels options in Helsinki.

Getting to the Conference

Airport:  The Helsinki-Vantaa Airport serves the greater Helsinki metropolitan region. The conference venue and hotel are located within approximately a 35 minute drive from this airport.

Airport Transportation: There are several transportation options from the Helsinki-Vantaa Airport. We recommend that participants take the train or bus to travel from the airport to Helsinki city center (known as Elielinaukio).

HSL operates public transportation in the Helsinki region, making the HSL ticket more convenient for travelers to transfer between different transportation options, such as from the train to a bus or tram. The cost of a ticket is five euros, and it is valid for 80 minutes after purchase on all the HSL transportation.

  • Train: Local trains I and P operate between Helsinki Airport and Elielinaukio on the Ring Rail Line. The journey time between the airport and the Central Railway Station is approximately 30 minutes. Tickets must be purchased before boarding the train.
  • Bus: The Finnair City Bus operates between the airport and Elielinaukio every 20 minutes. The Finnair City Bus is not operated by HSL. Tickets for the Finnair City Bus cost six euros and are not valid for any other transportation. Travel time is approximately 30 minutes. Additionally, Bus 615 operates between the airport and the Central Railway Station, and Bus 415 operates between the airport and Elielinaukio. The travel time is approximately 40-50 minutes and they are operated by the HSL. Tickets for the HSL buses are 5 euros if purchased from a machine, and they may also be purchased from the bus driver for 5,50 euros.
  • Taxi: Taxis to the city center are also available from the airport. It should cost around 50 euros to get to the hotel from the airport by taxi.
  • Tram: Once in Helsinki city center travelers may choose to take a tram to the hotel and venue. Tram number 4 runs near the Marina Congress Center.

Additional information on transportation options, including getting from the city center to the venue and hotel is available on the Marina Congress Center website.   

Visas

Finland is a member of the Schengen Area.

Information on visa requirements and travel documents accepted by Finland are available here. Please contact the nearest Finnish consulate or embassy for detailed information on visa requirements.

We are able to provide invitation letters upon request. Please send an email to conference@financialtransparency.org with “Visa Invitation Letter Request” as the email subject.

Conference Fees and Costs

There is no fee associated with the conference. Complimentary lunch and coffee/tea will be served during the two days.

Unfortunately, the FTC is unable to provide funding for travel, accommodation, or per diems for the conference at this time. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

What to do in Helsinki

If you arrive early or decide to extend your stay, there are many exciting things to do in the area. To learn more about local tourism please click here.

Questions

Please send any questions via email to the conference team at conference@financialtransparency.org.

Press Inquiries

For press inquiries please contact:

Christian Freyemyer
Press & Digital Media Officer
Financial Transparency Coalition
cfreymeyer@financialtransparency.org

Anna-Stiina Lundqvist
Communications Officer
Kepa
+358 50 317 6704, anna-stiina.lundqvist@kepa.fi

New assessments show concern for the Bahama’s measures to stop money laundering and #corruption. https://t.co/6qvvDEed7B
- Sunday Oct 22 - 5:34pm

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