Globalization and Digitalization: Interconnections between Taxation, Trade and Investment

Please find below all the presentations and the recordings of each session of the five-day workshop which is co-organized with  Council on Economic Policiesthe Asia Pacific FDI Network and the School of Law of the City University of Hong Kong .

Session 1: Importance of Domestic Law for the Interpretation of Tax, Trade and Investment Treaties – June 3 (14.00-17.00 CET)

This section will address the impact of domestic law in international agreements and the use of tax, trade, and investment domestic law provisions for the application of international agreements.  Some examples are for instance the use of investment law that leads to non-application of domestic provisions, the need to introduce a domestic tax provision in the framework of legality, and the introduction of a tax measure that can results in indirect expropriation under the investment agreement.

Convener/Chair Irma Mosquera Valderrama, Associate Professor, Leiden University and Lead Researcher, GLOBTAXGOV ERC Funded Project

Recording of this session

Session 2: Digital Taxes and Trade in Services – June 10 (14.00-17.00 CET)

International income tax rules rest on the principles that taxes are paid in the jurisdiction where the company has physical presence, taxes are based on profits, and there are profit allocation rules. These tax rules need to be updated as economic activities go digital – accelerated by the Covid-19 crisis. In the digital economy, assets are increasingly intangible and marginal costs may be close to zero resulting in scale without mass as well as a high degree of market concentration globally. The OECD hosts negotiations under the Inclusive Framework of Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) to find solutions by the end of 2020. The discussions are yet to conclude and in the meantime several countries have introduced digital services taxes on their own.

  • What should be the objective of a digital services tax?
  • Which economic activities and what kind of firms could be subject to a digital services tax?
  • What would be the benefits of a global agreement – and what would be the cost of unilateral action?

Convener: Hildegunn Kyvik Nordås, Senior Associate, Council on Economic Policies (CEP) and Professor of Economics, Örebro University


David Bradbury – Head of Tax Policy and Statistics Division at the Centre for Tax Policy and Administration at the OECD


Wei Cui, Law professor at the University of British Columbia,

Weiwei Zhang, International Trade Advisor, Sidley Austin LLP

Mattias Bauer, researcher at the European Centre for International Political Economy

Recording of this session