The OECD said it agreed with European nations to modify a treaty designed to combat global tax evasion. The revision of the so-called Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters aims to “align the convention to the international standard on information exchange for tax purposes by allowing for the exchange of bank information,” the Council of Europe, representing 47 countries from Germany to the U.K., said in a statement. The treaty will be signed at an OECD meeting on May 27-28 in Paris, BusinessWeek reports. Meanwhile, the outlook for the global economy has improved, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria said April 6, Reuters reports. “I think today we would be ready to look at things with more optimism, but it is a three-speed recovery,” Gurria told a news conference in Prague. He said emerging markets were recovering the fastest, followed by the U.S. and Japan which were rebounding faster than expected, while the recovery in Europe would be sluggish.
Lack of microcredit laws in many African countries is denying millions of the continent’s poor access to loans, Nobel Prize-winner Mohammad Yunus said this week. Yunus… is now pioneering an idea he calls “social business” as a way to fight poverty around the world - business not for profit but to solve social problems. “To create a new kind of bank, which works with the poor people, we need new legislation but in most of the countries in Africa that legislation has not taken place, so we have left microcredit scenario to the NGOs,” Yunus told Reuters in an interview. “People are ready in Africa there is no problem with the people it’s a question of institutional and conceptual arrangement and microcredit could be wonderful social business,” he said. Yunus is attending an annual microcredit summit in Kenya… ‘African women are very active compared to any women anywhere in the world and micro credits have the best chance of succeeding in Africa particularly in women but the financing is never brought to them,” he said.