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International conference "Tax Competition and Competitiveness"

Date: 02-12-2002 09:00
Place: Vilnius, Le Meridien Villon Hotel
Ten Years of Experience and Challenges for the Future
Under the courtesy of His Excellency the President of Lithuania
Welcome address - Dalia Grybauskaitė, Minister of Finance, Lithuania
 
On December 5-6, 2002 in Vilnius, the Lithuanian Free Market Institute, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation and the Heritage Foundation, in co-operation with the MG Baltic Concern and the Philip Morris-Lietuva company, hosted a two-day international conference “Tax Competition and Competitiveness. Ten Years of Experience and Challenges for the Future.” The conference was supported by the business daily Verslo zinios and the PricewaterhouseCoopers.
 
The aims of the conference were manifold. The primary purpose was to expose various players in the policy making process and business to the policy implications of recent and planned changes of tax policy in Lithuania and to compare the tax regimes and policy reforms pursued in the Baltic States and Russia. The aim was to highlight different approaches to tax policy adopted by the said countries, with special focus on the peculiarities of tax systems as well as advantages or disadvantages thereof from the perspective of business development, investment and economic growth. Presentation of the main facets of tax legislation in the EU were made to analyse the issues of tax harmonisation and tax competition.
 
The audience comprised approximately 250 participants, including members of parliament, high-ranking government officials, ministry executives, leading business people and representatives of major business associations, international institutions, academia and mass media.
 
PRESENTATIONS
 
Darius Mockus, President, MG Baltic Concern, Lithuania
 
Ph.D. Daniel J. Mitchell, Senior Fellow, Heritage Foundation, USA
 
Jürgen Ligi, Member of the Parliament, Estonia
 
Peep Kalamae, Tax Manager, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Estonia
 
Valentīna Andrējeva, State Secretary of Ministry of Finance, Latvia
 
Ignas Staškevičius, General Director, Vilniaus Prekyba Group, Lithuania
 
Vitas Vasiliauskas, Vice Minister of Finance, Ministry of Finance, Lithuania
 
Cameron G. Greaves, F.C.A., Senior Partner-Lithuania, PricewaterhouseCoopers
 
Vidas Kazickas, Director of Finance and Economics, MG Baltic Concern, Lithuania
 
Ingrida Šimonytė, Director of Tax Department, Ministry of Finance, Lithuania
 
Constantin T. Gurdgiev, Lecturer, Trinity College and National University of Ireland, Director, Open Republic Institute, Ireland
 
Toby O’Reilly, Senior Consultant, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Czech Republic
 
Philip J. Gambaccini, Manager of Economic and Fiscal Affairs, Philip Morris International, Switzerland
 
Karina Khudenko, Tax and Legal Services Manager, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Russia
 
Veronique de Rugy, Fiscal Policy Analys,CATO Institute, USA
 
Rūta Vainienė, Vice President, Lithuanian Free Market Institute, Lithuania
 
PROFILES OF PARTICIPANTS
 
Elena Leontjeva
Chair of the Board, Lithuanian Free Market Institute
 
Elena Leontjeva is shearing the Board of LFMI as well as the board of Vilnius College. A co-founder of LFMI (1990) and its President from 1993–2001, she directed LFMI research and policy advocacy and contributed to the reforms in the banking system, introduction of the currency board and litas credibility law, building legal background for the securities market, the stock exchange, privatization, introduction of the private pensions assurance, tax and budget reform, deregulation, improving economic and legal conditions for private sector.
 
E. Leontjeva has served as State Counselor on economic reform issued through six consecutive administrations, she has also been a member of the Sunset Commission and many other official boards engaged in the reform process. In 1998–1999 Leontjeva served as an economic advisor to Lithuania’s President Adamkus. E. Leontjeva holds degrees in economics, mathematics and programming. After retiring from LFMI President’s position in 2001, Leontjeva dedicate herself to fiction writing.
 
 
Darius Mockus
President, MG Baltic Concern, Lithuania
 
Darius Mockus is president of MG Baltic Concern. Mockus has an extensive business experience in field of capital investment and corporate management. Mockus started his first entrepreneurship ride already in late 80’s running a cooperative “Litas”. Later, throughout 90’s, his professional career accelerated further as with every year he gained experience of managing and administering new business units. Also, Mockus was one of the founders who established the Lithuanian Free Market Institute.
 
 
Daniel J. Mitchell, Ph.D.
Senior Fellow, Heritage Foundation, USA
 
Daniel J. Mitchell is Heritage’s chief expert on tax policy and the economy. Mitchell advocates supply-side tax cuts and fundamental tax reform. Mitchell also is the nation’s leading opponent of tax harmonization schemes developed by the Brussels-based European Union, the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the United Nations. He is particularly interested in tax reform, supply-side economics, international tax competition, the economy, and Social Security privatization. Mitchell holds a Ph.D. in Economics from George Mason University and Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in economics from the University of Georgia. Prior to joining The Heritage Foundation in 1990, Mitchell was as an economist for Senator Bob Packwood and the Senate Finance Committee. He also served on the 1988 Bush/Quayle transition team and was Director of Tax and Budget Policy for Citizens for a Sound Economy.
 
Illarionov Andrei, Ph.D.
Adviser to the President of the Russian Federation
 
Illarionov Andrei is Economic Adviser to the President of the Russian Federation and Personal Representative of President Putin to the G-8 Summit.
 
1993–1994, Chief Economic Adviser to the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation and Head, Group of Advisers to the Prime Minister, Moscow; 1994, Vice-President, Leontieff Centre, St Petersburg; 1994-2000, Director, Institute of Economic Analysis. Member: European Association of Comparative Economic Studies; Global Economic Freedom Network; International Institute of Public Finance. Expertise/interests: macroeconomic policy, economic transformation, international and inter-regional economic comparisons, economic history, international economics, historical economic statistics.
 
Illarionov holds a Ph.D. and master‘s degree from ST. Petersburg University. Before 1983, MSc ST. Petersburg University; training programmes, IASSA, Laxenburg, Austria, Birmingham University, UK and Georgetown University, Washington DC, USA
 
 
Jürgen Ligi
Member of the Parliament, Estonia
 
Jurgen Ligi is a member of reform party and member of the Parliament, Estonia. 1982–1989 Estonian SSR Planning Institute, economist; 1989–1990 Saaremaa Agro-Industrial Association, Chief Specialist; 1990–1991 Chamber of Commerce and Industry Saaremaa Dept., Head, consultant on entrepreneurial activities; 1992–1993 Kaarma Rural Municipality Council, economic adviser; 1993–1995 EVEA Bank Kuressaare Branch Office, head 1995–1999 member of 8th Riigikogu; 1999-present member of 9th Riigikogu. University of Tartu, 1982, specialist in economic geography; University of Tartu, 1989–1993, foreign economy; Estonian Higher Commerce School MBA programme, 1994-present.
 
 
Peep Kalamae
Tax Manager, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Estonia
 
Peep Kalamäe is a tax manager and has been working with PricewaterhouseCoopers Estonia for 7 years. He is specialised in international tax issues and double tax treaties and has advised foreign investors on Estonian tax matters, in particular on structuring individual transactions.
 
In 1992-1995, Peep has been employed in the Estonian Ministry of Finance as a senior specialist in the international taxation division, where he has gained valuable experience regarding the interpretation of Estonian taxation legislation as it relates to local business operations as well as international implications. Peep has contributed articles to various IBFD publications and to Tax Notes International.
 
 
Valentina Andrejeva
State Secretary of Ministry of Finance, Latvia
 
From 1988 till 1991 Ms Andrejeva was the director of Finance and Money Circulation Summary Section of Ministry of Finance. She was the Deputy Minister of Finance from 1991. In August of 1993 the position of State Secretary was established and Valentina Andrejeva is State Secretary of Ministry of Finance since that time.
 
State Secretary’s responsibilities are connected with state policy on the subject of budget, long-term and short-term finance, taxes and customs. Since 1993 State Secretary is managing administrative process of Ministry of Finance, when Latvia’s transition into market economy and stability is conduced, especially important is mortgage credit system establishing process’s management in Latvia.
 
Andrejeva graduated Riga Polytechnic Institute on the field of specialization engineer economist in 1976. In 2001 she graduated Riga Technical University with Master degree on economics, field of specialization business administration. Since 2001 she studies doctor program at Riga Technical University.
 
 
 Ignas Staškevičius
General Director, Vilniaus Prekyba Group, Lithuania
 
Staškevičius is one the founders who started up Lithuanian retail-chain Vilniaus Prekyba in early nineties. Before Staškevičius became the general director of VP Group in 1995, he was VP’s Director responsible for Business Development. Staškevičius holds degree doctor of pediatrics from Vilnius University, Lithuania. 
 
 
Vitas Vasiliauskas
Vice Minister of Finance, Ministry of Finance, Lithuania
 
Vice Minister of Finance Vitas Vasiliauskas is responsible for the tax legislation, tax administration and customs. Throughout his career, Vasiliauskas served in State Tax Inspectorate as the specialist in Division of Tax Enforcement, later and head of Tax Enforcement Division till 1998. Prior to being appointed as the Vice Minister of Finance in 2001, he was in charge of Tax Department at the Ministry of Finance. Vasiliauskas is also an assistant at Law Faculty, Vilnius University. He has a degree in law from Vilnius University.     
 
 
Cameron G. Greaves
F.C.A., Senior Partner-Lithuania, PricewaterhouseCoopers
 
Cameron Greaves has been a partner for over 20 years during which time he has developed into a specialist in providing solutions to international clients.  His especial focus is in the provision of international corporate tax advice and individual taxation. In February 1999 Cameron moved to Tallinn (Estonia) to assume responsibility for the tax and legal services practice in the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. In May 2001 he moved from Tallinn to Vilnius to assume additional responsibilities as Territory Senior Partner for Lithuania. As such he is responsible for the development of all three domestic tax practices and for the establishment and development of the legal services practices in these three separate states.
 
 
Vidas Lazickas
Director of Finance and Economics, MG Baltic Concern, Lithuania
 
Lazickas top manager’s career in MG Baltic Concern started in 2000. Today, his prime responsibility is to analyze and evaluate the financial information inflows/outflows, legal issues and other external/internal forces influencing the company. Besides, Lazickas is a Senior Finance Manager at JSC Minvista. Prior to joining JSC Minvista in 1996, he was a project manager at “Investment Fund”. Lazickas has a diploma in economics from Vilnius University.
 
 
Mart Laar
Former Primer Minister, Estonia
 
On October 21, 1992, Mart Laar was appointed Prime Minister of the Republic of Estonia by President Lennart Meri. In 1999, he repeatedly became a Prime Minister. From 1990 to 1992, Mr. Laar was a member of the Congress of Estonia and the Supreme Council of the Republic of Estonia.  He was also a member of the Constitutional Assembly from 1991 to 1992.  He is chairperson of the Pro Patria National Coalition party. He graduated from Tartu University in 1983 with a degree in history. From 1983 to 1986, Mr. Laar was a teacher at Tallinn Secondary School. He worked at the Ministry of Culture from 1987 to 1990 as head of the Department for the Protection of Cultural Heritage.
 
As historian, Laar has also written a book about the metsavennad, or the "forest brothers" resistance movements following the Soviet occupation.
 
 
Ingrida Šimonytė
Director of Tax Department, Ministry of Finance, Lithuania
 
I. Šimonytė’s professional career began in 1997 at Fiscal policy department, Ministry of Finance of Lithuania. Since 2002 Šimonyte is in charge of Tax department at Ministry of Finance. Her main fields of work are: taxes and implementation of tax administration policy, harmonization of national law according to EU acquis. Šimonytė holds master‘s degree in economics from Vilnius University, Lithuania.    
 
 
Constantin T. Gurdgiev, Ph.D.
Lecturer, Trinity College and National University of Ireland,
Director, Open Republic Institute, Ireland
 
Constantin T. Gurdgiev is lecturing in Mathematical Economics, Applied Mathematics, International Finance and International Macroeconomics at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, and the National University of Ireland. He also acts as a Director of the Open Republic Institute – an economic and social policy think-tank based in Dublin. Primarily, his research is concentrated in theoretical macroeconomics and open economy macroeconomics. Gurdgiev is a PhD candidate at Trinty College, holds two master‘s degrees; in economics from Johns Hopkins University, USA and in mathematics from University of California, USA. He has published policy and academic research on the topics of macroeconomics, open economy macroeconomics and finance.
 
 
Toby O’Reilly
Senior Consultant, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Czech Republic
 
Toby O’Reilly is a Senior Consultant in the Tax and Legal Services department of PricewaterhouseCoopers, Prague office. He has been with PwC since January 2002 and he specializes in VAT with a particular focus on financial services, retail and the non-profit sectors. Toby earned a degree in law from the London School of Economics. Prior to joining PricewaterhouseCoopers, Toby worked as a tax solicitor in a major commercial law firm in the UK, where he dealt with a number of blue chip clients. Toby is a qualified solicitor (England and Wales) and an Associate Member of the UK’s Chartered Institute of Taxation. A native speaker of English, Toby can speak conversational French and is increasing his knowledge of Czech.
 
 
Philip J. Gambaccini
Manager of Economic and Fiscal Affairs, Philip Morris International, Switzerland
 
Philip J. Gambaccini is in charge of East European economic and fiscal affairs at Philip Morris International, Switzerland. Before Gambaccini moved to Europe in 1999, he was a manager of corporate affairs at Philip Morris Latin America, New York. His earlier work experience was at the Bank of New York, Irving Trust Company and Institute of Public Administration. Gambaccini holds bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University, master’s degree in public affairs from Connecticut University and master’s degree in business administration from Stern School of Business, New York University.
 
Karina Khudenko, Ph.D.
Tax and Legal Services Manager, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Russia
 
Karina Khudenko has been with PwC Moscow since 1994.  Ms Khudenko primarily deals with individual taxation and compensation structures, her areas of specialisation are payroll and individual taxation, development of compensation structures for international and major Russian companies, she has also led projects of introduction of equity compensation plans in Russia. Khudenko is a member of various tax and HR professional associations, currently she serves as a member of the HR Executive Committee of the American Chamber in RF.  Ms Khudenko holds a PhD degree in Labour Economics from the Moscow State University.
 
 
Christof Rühl
Chief Economist, Russia Country Department, the World Bank
 
After joining the World Bank as a Senior Economist in 1998, Mr. Christof Rühl became Chief Economist of the World Bank's Russia office in February 2001. In 1996, Mr. Rühl joined as a Principal Economist the Office of the Chief Economist at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in London. Previosuly he has worked in academia: In 1991, he became Assistant Professor at the Economics Department of the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), and earlier held positions as Research Associate at the universities of Bremen (1986-88) and Hohenheim in Stuttgart, Germany (1988-91). Mr. Rühl, a German national, graduated in economics from the University of Bremen. Over the years, he has also accepted visiting positions at various universities and research institutions, among them the Graduate School of Business at the University of Chicago (1997), the University of Western Ontario, Canada (1995), the Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna (1994), and the Central European University in Prague and Budapest (1994-96). He has published a number of books and numerous articles. His areas of specialization are macroeconomics, monetary economics, and the economics of the transition from central planning.
 
 
Veronique de Rugy, Ph.D.
Fiscal Policy Analys,CATO Institute,USA
 
Veronique de Rugy has joined the Cato Institute as a fiscal policy analyst. Her research interests include health care reforms, tax competition, financial privacy, and fiscal sovereignty issues. She is the co-author of Action ou Taxation, published in Switzerland in 1996. De Rugy is currently on the Board of Directors of the Center for Freedom and Prosperity. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Paris-Sorbonne and previously directed academic programs for the Institute for Humane Studies - Europe in France.
 
 
Mindaugas Palijanskas
President, the Association of Oil Products Trade Enterprises of Lithuania
 
Mindaugas Palijanskas, prior to leading the Association of oil products trade enterprisers of Lithuania in 2002, was in charge of Tax Administration division at Ministry of Finance. Also, in 1999-2000 he served as a legal advisor of Lithuanian Government. Besides, he directed the Crimes Investigation Division of the State tax inspectorate in 1998-2000. Palijanskas as a legal expert has an extensive experience in private business sector. As a lawyer, he was employed by various foreign companies - Finnish law company "East Trade Law Qy", Estonian "Kalev". Palijanskas holds diploma in law from Vilnius University.
 
 
Margarita Starkevičiūtė, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of the International Business School at Vilnius University, Lithuania
 
Margarita Starkevičiūtė completed her Ph.D. thesis “Strategy of Long-term Economic Growth in Transition and its Implementation in Lithuania” and gained Ph.D. of social science (economics) at Vilnius university. Currently she teaches at Vilnius university International Business School and is engaged as a contractor in different research programs with private institutions and international organizations. The main professional activities are directed towards research in growth, economic reforms, fiscal policy, financial economics. Previously she has been working as a head of analysis division at the National Stock Exchange of Lithuania, the Central Securities Depository of Lithuania. Dr. Starkeviciute is the author of more than 50 articles and books in the different areas of transition economics and EU accession process.
 
 
Rūta Vainienė
Vice President, Lithuanian Free Market Institute, Lithuania
 
Rūta Vainienė forms the institute's position on economic, tax, accounting, housing and budgetary issues. Vainienė has been with the institute since its establishment and in 1999 began to lead the institute's research team. Besides, she is an appointed member of Board at Bank of Lithuania. Vainienė holds a diploma in economics from Vilnius University and has an extensive list of trainings in Germany, US and Denmark.
 
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