Credit: Reuters/Steve Parsons/Pool
The Pursuit of Excellence: How the G8 Agenda and Thomson Reuters Align
By Tom Walsh, managing director, Government
This past Saturday I was fortunate to have been invited to a G8 workshop in London hosted by British Prime Minister David Cameron. Over 150 participants, including five African Presidents, numerous African and European ministers, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, and various members of PM Cameron’s Cabinet, met to discuss the 2013 G8 Agenda of Trade, Tax, and Transparency.
I was invited to participate in a break-out workshop on transparency in land rights and transactions, as our work in countries such as Nigeria and Liberia have enabled governments to more efficiently identify, document, and record land rights.
However, I came away inspired that the whole of Thomson Reuters is aligned with the G8 priorities of Trade, Tax, and Transparency.
The Prime Minister opened the session with insight on how transparency is not only the foundation for growth but at the same time a means to root out corruption. He spoke specifically about the need for free speech and free press. Of course, our Reuters News professionals are global leaders in this regard.
The African leaders who participated in the workshop, including Macky Sall, President of Senegal, and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigerian Finance Minister, told us that our efforts were right on the mark – that they need technology solutions that provide the accuracy and transparency required to not only combat corruption but to encourage individuals and capital markets.
On Trade, participants discussed stimulating new African capital markets in an informed and transparent way –our Financial & Risk division could have contributed to this discussion as our solutions provide the insight and capabilities to make informed capital decisions and actions.
The Tax discussions centered around cross-country tax reporting and clarity – for both governments and for corporations. Governments want more insight into multi-national corporations’ tax positions in other countries, and inversely corporations want the confidence to know that they are only paying tax once and not repeatedly for the same activities. Our professionals within the Tax & Accounting division working on transfer pricing, corporate tax, and indirect tax are actively developing information management tools to support this initiative. And there was also robust discussion around governments needing better insight into businesses and individuals financial positions globally – this is directly aligned with our work supporting the FACTA legislation.
There was also a great deal of discussion about how to make legal information and legal services more accessible to African governments, non-government organizations, and citizens. Several of the African heads-of-state expressed how challenging it is to advance and enforce legal improvements without ready access to legal information and capacity strengthening. I can easily envision our Legal division colleagues adding to this discussion. And this legal area is also where the Thomson Reuters Foundation is providing very important work today in Africa and worldwide by connecting pro-bono legal representation to organizations supporting development.
Nellie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission, shared how management of intellectual property is changing dramatically in the new economy to support accelerated growth in the digital age. Here again is an area in which our Intellectual Property division professionals are supporting growth and development.
It energizes me to see that our day-to-day work is so well aligned to the contemporary needs of global development. It’s the sum of parts at Thomson Reuters that is providing the insightful and intelligent information solutions that support Prime Minister Cameron’s 3Ts (trade, tax, and transparency) for this year’s G8.