Switzerland will attend a high-level meeting on tax havens taking place in Berlin on June 23 after host Germany, the most vocal critic of Swiss bank secrecy, agreed to extend an invitation to Berne.
Germany has been one of the main supporters of a global campaign against tax cheats and managed to gather support for the naming and shaming of Switzerland and other opaque offshore financial centers at a G20 meeting in April.
Swiss attendance to the Berlin tax summit had been in doubt given tension between the two neighbors, but Swiss Finance Ministry spokeswoman Delphine Jaccard said on Monday that Berne had been invited and would send a representative.
The Berlin summit is a follow-up meeting to a Franco-German initiative in Paris in October at which the two countries, which suspect many citizens hide their money in Switzerland and other offshore centers, endorsed the idea of drafting a black list of tax havens.
Switzerland, whose private banks manage around $2 trillion of foreign wealth, needs to offer more tax cooperation to avoid G20 sanctions. It has vowed to adopt international standards for tax transparency and cooperation in 12 new treaties it needs to sign by year-end to get off the hook.
Jaccard said Berne already drafted two such agreements and that they would be signed soon. She declined to name the countries in question.
(Reporting by Lisa Jucca; editing by Stephen Nisbet)