Norway Takes Lead in Fight Against IFFs, Foreign Minister Highlights Issue in Parliament Speech

March 23rd, 2010

Today, the Foreign Minister of Norway unequivocally declared that illicit financial flows channeled through tax havens are a significant impediment to economic development in the developing world. In a speech before the Storting, the Norwegian Parliament, Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre stated:

Illicit capital flows, frequently channelled through tax havens, are a significant obstacle to economic and social progress in many developing countries. This has become even more apparent during the financial crisis. Increasing attention is being paid to the problem of tax evasion in countries such as the US, the UK and Germany, and also in the EU, the G20 and the OECD. There is greater willingness in the international community to discuss the detrimental effects of tax evasion and illicit capital flight. This issue figures prominently in Norway’s foreign and development policy.

Norway has long been a leader in the fight to curtail illicit financial flows and increase transparency in global finance.  In fact, a branch of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), provided this Task Force with the funds needed to initially get up and running.  Indeed, Norad continues to provide sizable funding for our operations today.

It’s great to see that illicit capital flows remain a major part of Norway’s foreign policy; other nations would be wise to heed Norway’s example and join the fight against dirty money.

Written by Clark Gascoigne

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