April 12, 2016 / 2:22 PM / 3 years ago

Fair taxation, transparency on agenda for Germany's G20 presidency: Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks during a news conference with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto (unseen) at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, April 12, 2016. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday that ensuring financial transparency and fair taxation would be on the agenda for the German presidency of the Group of 20 (G20) major economies in 2017.

Tax havens and transparency have been thrust into the limelight as governments worldwide launch probes into possible financial wrongdoing after the details of hundreds of thousands of clients’ tax affairs were leaked from Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca.

“Germany will have the G20 presidency next year, and the issue of transparent finances, fair taxation, exchange of information, transparency will play a role,” Merkel said at a news conference in Berlin.

She added that she might discuss these issues with U.S. President Barack Obama when he visits a trade fair in the German city of Hanover on April 24.

“We speak regularly about the issue of transparency of financial relationships,” Merkel said when asked about offshore firms in the U.S. state of Delaware, adding that the finance ministers were discussing this even more intensely.

Germany made closer international cooperation on tax evasion a priority during its presidency of the G7 economic powers in 2014/15.

Reporting by Michelle Martin; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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