Pierre Gramegna prioritises the coordination of international efforts in tax transparency as focus for upcoming EU Presidency

Luxembourg Finance Minister, Pierre Gramegna, is in Stockholm leading an important delegation of high-level financial representatives from the Luxembourg financial center.

As Luxembourg prepares to take over the rotating Presidency of the European Union in July, Minister Gramegna underlined his government’s priorities, including, the strengthening of the capital markets union, enhancing financial services regulation, and pushing for international coordinated efforts in tax transparency.

“Since the financial and economic crisis, states and citizens have taken a fresh look at international taxation matters. Luxembourg fully shares the concerns on international tax matters and in particular, that it is not acceptable that companies take advantage of the international legal framework to avoid virtually any taxation. This requires a coordinated effort by the international community. Luxembourg is committed to deal with this issue as a priority during its Presidency and is eager to work with all the other countries and our partners at OECD and EU level “, said Pierre Gramegna.

Moreover, since January 2015, Luxembourg has been applying the automatic exchange of information based on the EU savings directive and as an early adopter of the OECD Common Reporting Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information, is strongly committed to international tax transparency.

Commenting on his visit, Finance Minister Gramegna emphasised Luxembourg’s role as an efficient cross-border platform for Swedish banks and asset managers to accompany their clients on an international scale:

“Swedish financial institutions have a long established presence in Luxembourg which dates back to the 1970s. Seven Swedish banks, including the four largest are based in Luxembourg. Many of them today have their hubs for international private banking or investment fund distribution in the Grand-Duchy and benefit from its expertise as a leading European financial center accustomed to serving an international clientele. Out of the 4 207 foreign funds distributed in Sweden in 2014, 67% were Luxembourg domiciled funds which makes the Grand-Duchy the most important domicile for Swedish cross-border funds”.

With a global distribution network of over 70 countries, Luxembourg is the number one investment centre in Europe and second in the world after the US. Luxembourg’s rank as the leading financial centre in the Eurozone was recently reaffirmed for the second time by the Global Financial Centres Index 2015 (GFCI).

Sweden and Luxembourg also share common areas of interest when it comes to the future development of the financial services industry.

“Continually innovating to diversify its financial centre, Luxembourg has made FinTech a priority. A growing number of start-ups and some of the biggest players in e-payments have already set up their business in Luxembourg where they can leverage the proximity of a leading financial centre and benefit from state-of-the-art ICT infrastructures to expand their business across Europe. Like Sweden, Luxembourg has put its expertise in the service of sustainable finance. Today, Luxembourg is the leading domicile for microfinance investment vehicles, accounting for over 50% of assets under management worldwide in this segment”, explained Pierre Gramegna.

During his visit to Stockholm, the Minister will meet with Swedish financial industry representatives and hold several bilateral meetings, including Swedish Minister of Finance, Magdalena Andersson, to further enhance the cooperation and strong relationships between Luxembourg and Sweden.