Tbilisi, Georgia, May 4, 2011—A
three-day conference in Tbilisi, Georgia, organized by IFC, a member of
the World Bank Group, in partnership with Georgia’s Ministry of Finance
and International Tax Dialogue, will focus on how simplified tax systems
for micro and small businesses support private sector growth.
The conference, Taxing Micro and Small
Businesses, begins today and will bring together about 70 participants,
including senior finance ministry officials and heads of tax administrations
from around 30 countries across Europe and Central Asia.
This is the first time that leading
policymakers from across the region are coming together to develop best
approaches based on global experience and Georgia's example to improve
tax systems to benefit micro and small businesses.
“Georgia has recently taken significant
steps towards liberalizing its tax system, including for micro and small
businesses,” said Kakha Baindurasvhili, Minister of Finance of Georgia.
“The new taxation regimes and benefits for these companies are part of
the government’s ‘new course,’ which envisages introduction of a fair,
simple, and reliable tax system for businesses. We are glad to share Georgia’s
experience with countries taking their first steps to liberalize their
tax systems or seeking to streamline them. We highly value the support
of IFC and its partners to Georgia in this area.”
The Ministry of Finance of Georgia,
one of the co-hosts of the conference, will share its experience in introducing
new taxation regimes for micro and small businesses, regulations that helped
companies save time and money. International Tax Dialogue, which is a joint
initiative of the European Commission, International Monetary Fund, Organization
for Economic Cooperation and Development, DFID, and the World Bank Group,
will provide its global perspective on improving the functioning of national
"Micro and small enterprises are
a major driver of economic growth and job creation,” said Thomas Lubeck,
IFC Regional Head for the Caucasus. “Our goal is to develop better systems
that encourage the sector to grow and increase tax revenue. We are looking
to develop a win-win system where everyone benefits. Georgia has made important
strides in that respect, and there is a good opportunity to learn from
that experience as well.”
IFC Georgia Tax Simplification Project
has supported Georgia in adopting a new tax code and secondary legislation,
enacted since January 2011. The new regulations for micro and small companies
help reduce administrative burden and compliance costs, and improve company
operations. The project is being implemented with financial support from
the governments of the Netherlands, Luxemburg, and Austria.
To date, IFC Investment Climate Advisory
Services in Europe and Central Asia has improved or eliminated over 4,000
regulatory policies and procedures. These reforms have benefitted over
200,000 businesses and helped the private sector save around $421 million.
Today’s conference is supported by
the Austrian Ministry of Finance and Swiss State Secretariat for Economic
Affairs. The conference is part of IFC's regional reform effort to help
governments improve tax systems to stimulate growth.
To learn more about International Tax
Dialogue, visit www.itdweb.org.
To learn more about the Austrian Ministry
of Finance, visit http://english.bmf.gv.at.
To learn more about the Swiss State
Secretariat for Economic Affairs, visit www.seco.admin.ch.
To learn more about the Netherlands-IFC
Partnership Program, visit www.minbuza.nl/en/home.
To learn more about the Luxemburg-IFC
Partnership Program, visit www.mf.public.lu.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,
is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector
in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty
and improve their lives. We do so by providing financing to help businesses
employ more people and supply essential services, by mobilizing capital
from others, and by delivering advisory services to ensure sustainable
development. In a time of global economic uncertainty, our new investments
climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit