Russia: Global economy, taxes to dominate Washington's G20 agenda

September 23, 2016 12:39 PM EDT

Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak attends a televised debate as part of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2016 (SPIEF 2016) in St. Petersburg, Russia, June 17, 2016.REUTERS/Stoyan Vassev/TASS/Host Photo Agency/Pool

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By Lidia Kelly

MOSCOW (Reuters) - International tax cooperation will be in focus alongside the global economy a meeting of finance ministers from the Group of 20 developed and developing nations in Washington next month, Russia's top financial diplomat said on Friday.

The G20 ministers meet in Washington on Oct. 6, on the eve of the World Bank/IMF annual meetings, weeks after a G20 summit pledged to increase macroeconomic policy coordination without issuing any concrete proposals other than agreeing to oppose protectionism.

"(The agenda) will be very simple this time: global economy, which is traditional," Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak told Reuters in an interview.

"The ministers also need to talk, develop the theme of taxes, tax cooperation at the international level, at the multilateral level, Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS), information sharing and so on."

At their summit in Hangzhou, China, the G20 leaders pledged tax cooperation to "achieve a globally fair and modern international tax system" and asked the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) to report by June 2017 on the progress made by jurisdictions on tax transparency.

A particular focus of the OECD efforts is BEPS, in which multinational companies move profits out of the countries where money is earned and into jurisdictions that do not tax them.

Storchak also said that he expected Germany to announce in Washington that it would prioritize the G20's sustainable development goals during its presidency of the group next year.

"It's their choice," Storchak said. "In principle, for the Group of 20 finance ministers and central banks, this is never considered a priority as, in many G20 countries, the ministry of finance does not play a big role in promoting sustainable development."

He added that there would be no meeting of the finance ministers from the BRICS developing countries - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund meeting.

A BRICS summit will be held in Panaji in the Indian state of Goa on Oct. 15-16.

(Additional reporting by Lena Fabrichnaya; Writing by Lidia Kelly; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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