Indonesia and Switzerland have signed a joint declaration on Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information (AEOI) on Tuesday. The signing was held at the Directorate General of Tax in Central Jakarta.
At the signing ceremony, Indonesia was represented by Director General of Tax for the Finance Ministry Ken Dwijugeasteadi and Switzerland was represented by its Ambassador to Indonesia Yvonne Bauman. The signing was witnessed by Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati.
Through the joint declaration, Indonesia and Switzerland have agreed to automatic exchange of financial accounts information in 2018 in accordance with the Common Reporting Standard. Both are also committed to strengthening cooperation on financial sector.
The joint declaration is a requirement for Indonesia to exchange information with Switzerland despite the former has entered into the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement. Indonesia still needs the Switzerland parliament’s approval that will be taken at the end of the year.
Switzerland is one of the tax haven countries, along with Singapore, Hong Kong,and Mauritius, where rich Indonesians keep their assets.
In 1999, TIME reported that former President Suharto made a $9 billion bank transfer in 1998 from a Swiss bank account to an Austrian one, which raised suspicions at home about the origins of the staggering amount of money, as presidential salary back then was only $1,764 a month. Suharto had denied ever hiding his wealth abroad.
Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said on Tuesday the government is going to have similar agreements with other strategic countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia. "We will also prepare ourselves for a full implementation of the global commitment," she said.
The agreements are now possible after the government issued a regulation in May, scraping bank secrecy in an effort to comply with the global Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) framework to prevent large-scale tax evasion.
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