AN INTRO TO

WHAT WE'VE BEEN UP TO

“As we have seen in past crises of this magnitude, there will come a time when we will look back and it will be clear how we — at all levels of society, government, business, health care systems, and civic and humanitarian organizations — could have been and will be better prepared to face emergencies of this scale.” (Jamie Dimon, JP Morgan, April 6, 2020 letter to shareholders).

Many people believing in modernity are believers in societies reducing or even eliminating health-related risks. Many of the UN sustainable development goals are one way or the other linked with health (thus increasing life expectancy). Another sign of the times is the increased mobility of people. The European union is even legally based on the freedom to move around with the EU. It is a big irony that the Covid 19 threat is fundamentally destroying both elements at once. It reminds us of boxer Mike Tyson’s infamous words: Everyone has a plan ’till they get punched in the mouth.

The Economist (March 26, 2020) – not known for its exuberance in reporting – had a story on the post-Corona world and the developing countries. It was titled in plain and simple words: ‘The coronavirus could devastate poor countries’ Unlike during the 2008 crisis there is not much cooperation around and there is no global leadership from the US. Vera Songwe of the UN Commission for Africa said (in the Economist): “If we need an example of what the lack of multilateralism looks like, we’re seeing it today,”

Tax wise we already were in a crisis. Covid-19 is however deepening this crisis enormously. As for Capabuild’s response, the travel ban hurts us, but we will not stop with assisting tax training institutes and we are working with our donors to look for online courses, webcasts, podcasts and webinars with the challenges of internet speed firmly in mind. We have been able to establish a state-of-the-art production platform producing interactive trainings in real time. We provided a large training program with the Indonesian training institute (FETA) in August 2021 on tax, trade and treaties with participants from 8 different Government Departments of Indonesia.

This was our first large on line interactive training and we are proud that it was perceived by FETA (and by us) as a big success. The ‘live’ 3-day online webinar was seamlessly connecting to the Jakarta audience, the co-moderators in Australia (who have years of experience with on line) and the studio with trainers in Hotel Jakarta (Amsterdam). In October/November 2020 we delivered an intensive multi day webinar with the Rwanda Revenue on transfer pricing which was very well received. In short, we are ready to take on capacity building in this Covid-19 period and we are aiming to do 10-12 webinar training per year. After Covid – 19, this online platform will even help us in achieving what we want: to help as many developing countries as possible.”

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