Official development assistance on its own will be insufficient to meet the financing demands of the Sustainable Development Goals. There is therefore a renewed international focus on the role of domestic resource mobilisation in sustainable development. Historically, increases in taxation have been associated with the development of more accountable and effective institutions, and increasing levels of social expenditure. While low tax-to-GDP ratios tend to be a characteristic of poorer countries, this may be a symptom rather than the cause of underdevelopment.
This report undertakes case studies of tax performance of six Asian countries: Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Nepal and Pakistan. This allows for a comparison between three relatively large and rapidly growing middle-income Asian economies (China, India and Indonesia) and three more aid-dependent low- and middle-income countries (Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan) – which are also major Department for International Development client countries.