Seminar & Lecture Series

International Seminar on Fiscal and Tax Policy Reform

21 May 2013 Shanghai, The People's Republic of China

An international seminar on the PRC fiscal and tax policy reform was held on 21 May at the Asia-Pacific Finance and Development Institute (AFDI) in Shanghai. The purpose of the seminar was to explore successful experiences of the PRC’s fiscal and tax reforms since 1994, discuss the challenges posed by economic restructuring, and share experiences of various countries’ fiscal and tax policies, particularly during economic transition periods. The seminar was co-sponsored by ADB’s Regional Knowledge Sharing Initiative (RKSI).

Organizer:

Asia-Pacific Finance Development Institute

Agenda:
TimeProgram
8:30-9:00Registration
9:00-9:30Opening Remarks
Chair:
Li Kouqing, Director-General, AFDI
Xie Xuan, Deputy Director General, International Department, MOF
Robert Wihtol, Director General, East Asia Department (EARD), ADB
9:30-10:45Session I: Overview of Fiscal and Tax Reforms since 1994, Challenges and Policy Options for Inclusive Growth

Since 1994, the PRC’s fiscal and taxation policies have experienced a tremendous change with the introduction of a shared tax system, and in particular the VAT. As a result, tax revenue has increased steadily from about CNY300 billion to CNY12 trillion in 2012. During this period, the budgeting system was also reformed allowing the central government more leverage to redistribute resources to less developed regions. However, as economic development moved forward, different issues emerged including the match of social responsibility of the government and revenue generated from a shared tax system. Against this background, the fiscal transfer system has to be reconsidered. The session will look into the following key issues: what are the challenges in fiscal and taxation policy that the PRC faces in the current context? What are the main issues that need to be resolved?

Moderator: Peng Runzhong, Director, AFDI
Panelist:
Zhuang Juzhong Deputy Chief Economist, Economics and Research Department (ERD), ADB
Meng Chun, DDG, Development Research Center, State Council CN
Yin Xingmin, DDG, China Economy Research Center, Fudan University CN

Discussion
10:45-11:00 Coffee Break
11:00-12:30Session II: International Experience in Fiscal and Tax Policy

Fiscal and taxation policies are the centerpiece of sound macroeconomic policy. Experiences in various countries provide interesting insights for today’s discussion. Every country has developed a unique form, in particular when it comes to the relations between central and local governments. The session will look at selected international experiences to draw on relevant lessons learned.

Moderator: Yolanda Fernandez Lommen, Principal Economist, EARD, ADB
Panelist:
Jorge Martinez Vazquez, Professor, International Center for Public Policy, Georgia State University
Satoru Araki, Tax Expert, RSDD, ADB
Zhou Qiangwu, DDG, AFDC, MOF

Discussion
12:30-13:45 Lunch
13:45-15:00Session III: Reform of the Intergovernmental Finance System

Economic restructuring in the PRC, coupled with achieving the objective of establishing a prosperous society by the end of the century requires reforms of revenue and expenditure system between central and local government. Against this context, it is particularly important to align the responsibility in the provision of basic services with adequate financial resources. In addition, fiscal and taxation policies should reflect the trends of the market-oriented reforms, and the nature of the government functions. The session will discuss and revisit the roles and responsibilities of central and local governments, with the purpose of adequately aligning revenue and expenditure responsibilities.

Moderator: Liu Hanyong, Director, Shanghai Finance Department
Panelist:
Bai Jingming, DDG, Fiscal Policy Research Institute, MOF CN
Qian Ying, Director, EARD, ADB
Liu Junmin, Director, Fiscal Policy Research Institute, MOF
Ma Haitao, Dean, Fiscal and taxation Policy Institute, Central Financial University CN

Discussion
15:00-15:15Coffee Break
15:15-17:00Session IV: Roadmap for Fiscal and Tax Policy Reform

There are different options on how to move forward fiscal and taxation reforms in the PRC. In this process it is important to explore how to best adapt to the current international and domestic juncture in order to design a suitable reform roadmap that may be considered by the policy-makers in the context of the current economic reform agenda. The session will invite the views from representatives from government and the academia to identify the best options to modernize the fiscal and taxation systems in the PRC in accordance with the country development targets.

Moderator: Zhou Qiangwu,DDG,AFDC, MOF
Panelist:
Wang Chaocai, DDG, Fiscal Policy Research Institute, MOF CN
Wang Yongjun, Dean, Public Administration Institute. China Central Financial University CN
Chen Huan, DG, China CDM, MOF CN
Yan Yan, Director, Shanghai National Accounting Institute CN

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