In line with its engagement to increase memberships and to broaden its network, the Addis Tax Initiative (ATI) is honoured to welcome the Executive Secretariat of the Council of Finance Ministers of Central America, Panama and the Dominican Republic (Consejo de Ministros de Hacienda o Finanzas de Centroamérica, Panamá y la República Dominicana, COSEFIN) as a new supporting organisation of the initiative. By joining, the members of COSEFIN reinforce their endeavour to strengthen fiscal coordination and harmonisation in the Central American and the Caribbean region while aligning efforts with the other 63 ATI members to enhance domestic revenue mobilisation (DRM) for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
COSEFIN is a sectoral body of the Central American Integration System (Sistema de la Integración Centroamericana, SICA) established in 2006 as a permanent forum, constituted by the ministries of finances and treasury of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama and the Dominican Republic. The vision of the institution is to improve the coordination of fiscal policies and to promote tax harmonisation to advance Central American integration and trade liberalisation, without undermining the tax bases and ensuring social development in the region.
In its regional work plan, consolidated in 2017, COSEFIN laid down the following seven thematic areas: tax exemptions, Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) strategy, efficiency in the management of public investment, tax risks, modernisation and articulation of tax and customs policies and administrations, budgeting processes, and financial integration. In consonance with these thematic areas, the current projects of COSEFIN include the following initiatives:
- The implementation of a programme to improve good financial governance in SICA countries, in terms of resource mobilisation, quality of spending and fiscal transparency;
- The development of domestic public debt markets along with the medium-term aim to establish a regional primary and secondary market for public debt;
- The enhancement and consolidation of the results-based budgeting methodology as a tool to assess the degree of impact of intervention programmes, focusing on the areas of gender, governance and social policies (EUROsociAL+);
- The management of a risk insurance sustained by a regional fund to permit a rapid disbursement of resources in case of natural catastrophes (CCRIF SPC);
- Capacity building for the incorporation of disaster risk as well as sustainable and inclusive adaptation to climate change in public investment in member countries.
In an endorsement letter, the Executive Secretary of COSEFIN, Alfredo Ibrahim Flores Sarria, expressed that mobilising domestic revenues has been a priority in the regional work agenda of member ministries. Moreover, Flores Sarria emphasised the potentials that arise from the collaboration between COSEFIN and the ATI in terms of experience exchanges and the generation of constructive dialogues. The ATI is looking forward to working and finding synergies with SE-COSEFIN and to supporting efforts to implement the commitments of the ATI Declaration 2025.