ROME (Reuters) – Italy aims to use its presidency of the Group of 20 major global economies to try to ensure further debt relief for poor countries, the Ministry of Finance said in a statement on Monday.
The Deputy of Finance and the Central Bank will hold a virtual meeting on January 25-26.
Italy takes over the G20’s annual rotating presidency on December 1 and will build on a deal reached by major international creditors in April aimed at easing debt repayments for the world’s poorest countries.
Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte; edited by Agnieszka Flak
BERLIN (Reuters) – German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz on Tuesday welcomed the US Senate’s confirmation of Janet Yellen as the first female finance minister, voicing hope that she can bring progress towards reaching an international agreement on digital taxation.
“Congratulations to the United States for making this extraordinary choice! Janet Yellen is a very impressive person, ”said Scholz, adding that she is looking forward to working with the former chairman of the Federal Reserve.
Scholz told Reuters that Europe and the United States were natural partners because they both shared values. “I am sure that together we are stronger. Together we can achieve more for our citizens, “he added.
For Berlin, top issues on the agenda with the US in the coming months will be digital economy taxation and global minimum effective taxes for companies.
“I am counting on decisive progress and reaching an agreement at the OECD level this summer,” said Scholz. “The coronavirus pandemic has once again shown us how important it is for all companies to pay their fair share.”
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development last year outlined the first major rewrite of international rules for taxing cross-border businesses, such as Google, Apple and Facebook.
Nearly 140 countries involved in the talks agreed in October to continue negotiations until mid-2021 after discussions broke down because Washington was reluctant to sign an international deal ahead of the US presidential election.
As a medium-term goal, Germany would like to see negotiations between the EU and the US on reducing tariffs and the creation of a transatlantic carbon emissions trading scheme that can serve as a blueprint for a global system.
Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Edited by Edward Taylor
New Delhi: In veiled reference to Pakistan, India, and Australia on Thursday condemned the use of “terrorist proxies” for terrorism across borders, and calls for concerted action against all terror networks. This issue became prominent at the virtual meeting of the joint India-Australia working group on counter-terrorism.
“India and Australia strongly condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and emphasize the need to strengthen international cooperation to combat terrorism in a comprehensive and sustainable manner. Both sides condemn the use of terrorist proxies for cross-border terrorism,” a joint statement issued after the meeting.
The two sides underlined their commitment to coordinate and collaborate on counter-terrorism in line with the comprehensive strategic partnership established by the Prime Minister. Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison at their virtual meeting in June.
“The two sides reviewed the threat posed by UN-sanctioned terrorist entities and emphasized the need for joint action against all terrorist networks,” the statement said, adding that views had been exchanged about the prohibition of terrorists and entities as a means of fighting terrorism.
“Australia reiterates its condemnation of the terrorist attacks in India, including 26/11 Mumbai, Pathankot and Pulwama and reaffirms its support for the Indian people and government in the fight against terrorism,” he said.
The two sides underlined the urgent need for all countries to take immediate, sustainable, verifiable and irreversible action to ensure that no territory under their control is used for terrorist attacks and to bring to justice the perpetrators of such attacks, the statement said.
The two sides also exchanged views on various areas of cooperation in the field of counter-terrorism including dealing with radicalization and violent extremism, combating the financing of terrorism, and ways to enhance information exchange.
They also discussed counter terror cooperation in multilateral forums such as the United Nations, G20, Global Counter Terrorism Forum, ASEAN Regional Forum and the Financial Action Task Force.
The Indian side is led by Mahaveer Singhvi, The Joint Secretary for Counter Terrorism at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs while the Australian delegation was led by Tony Sheehan, Deputy Secretary of the International Security, Humanitarian and Consular Group at the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
BERLIN (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel hit the podium in frustration as she pleaded with Germans this month to reduce social contact to curb the spread of COVID-19.
At one point in her passionate speech before parliament, where she was denounced, she put her hands together as if in prayer. At other people, he clenched his fists.
“I want to say this: if we have too much contact over Christmas, and after that it turns out it’s the last Christmas with grandparents, then we’re going to be really messed up and we shouldn’t mess up!” she says.
Merkel’s rare show of emotion on December 9 is widely seen as a sign of impatience with the difficulties – and now criticism – she faced as she tried to steer Europe’s largest economy through the second wave of COVID-19.
Merkel, a physicist, won praise for handling the first wave, when she quickly locked up Germany and then lifted restrictions sooner than in any other country, easing economic woes.
But his government came under fire as COVID-19 cases escalated again, even though Germany still fared better than many other European countries and he is teetering by a political system built on consensus.
After months of warnings from virologists about the looming surge, Germany began a full-scale lockdown on Wednesday that will last until at least January 10.
As shops and schools closed, the death toll jumped to 952, the highest daily increase.
Merkel’s conservative ally of Bavaria, Markus Soeder, said the situation was “out of control” and Der Spiegel magazine called her strategy a “winter failure”.
“The bitter truth is Germany must close down not only because of the corona but also because of the handling of corona politics,” wrote bestselling daily Bild.
Criticism of Merkel, 66, has been exacerbated by other countries launching a COVID-19 vaccine that was partly developed in Germany but not yet authorized for use there.
Berlin is awaiting regulatory approval from the European Union for a vaccine developed by Germany’s BioNTech and US company Pfizer.
“Germany has lost five weeks with a vaccine. It claimed many lives, “said Karl Lauterbach, an epidemiologist and lawmaker with Merkel’s Social Democratic coalition partner.
Health Minister Jens Spahn was ridiculed for saying in early November it would be difficult to explain whether a vaccine produced in Germany was used elsewhere first.
“We are underestimating this virus,” said Saxony Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer, who warned in October against the “hysteria” virus but ended up imposing a statewide lockdown two days before the rest of Germany.
A poll released on Wednesday by the Forsa Institute for Social Research and Statistical Analysis showed 81% of Germans regretted recent measures that were not approved earlier.
Only 42% of people surveyed thought cooperation in dealing with the pandemic between the central government and Germany’s 16 states was going well.
MERKEL Defends Strategy
Despite the criticism, opinion polls show that Merkel, who has said she will not seek a fifth term as chancellor, remains Germany’s most popular politician.
Comparisons with other European countries during the pandemic are also very favorable. Germany has reported fewer cases or deaths than France, Britain, Italy or Spain despite having a larger population of all.
The latest official figures put the number of coronavirus cases recorded in Germany at 1,379,238 and the death toll at 23,427. France has more than 2 million cases and Britain has recorded nearly 65,000 deaths.
The latest European Centers for Disease Control and Prevention figures put the death rate from COVID-19 in Germany at 6.9 per 100,000 people over 14 days, compared with 8.3 in France and 8.9 in the UK. That compares with 15.4 in Poland and 23.6 in Hungary.
Merkel has signaled she will not be deterred by criticism, barriers created by politics driven by the German consensus or by bureaucratic delays.
He can enforce coronavirus restrictions only with the approval of 16 federal state governors, and they frequently cash out his proposals, leaving a patchwork of recommendations that are unlikely to enforce rather than rule.
But tougher measures became possible after the “lockdown lights” in November, which closed bars and restaurants but left schools and shops open, proved less effective than expected.
“The need (for a new lockdown) is due to the fact that the actions we started on November 2 were not enough,” Merkel said on Sunday, announcing a new lockdown and adding “there is an urgent need to act”.
Germany’s success in the first wave has contributed to Merkel’s problems now, political experts say, as it fosters complacency among people looking to return to work and sparked popular opposition to the restrictions.
A court ruling lifting restrictions from local bar closings to a demonstration ban has also dampened morale for political action, and the government is facing resistance to a tighter lockdown of businesses, despite a 130 billion euro ($ 158.26 billion) stimulus package in June.
($ 1 = 0.8214 euros)
Additional reporting by Michael Nienaber and Andreas Rinke, Editing by Timothy Heritage
The 11th meeting of the United Kingdom – Brazil Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) was held on November 11, 2020 via video conference. The meeting was co-chaired by Roberto Fendt, Brazil’s Special Secretary for Foreign Trade and International Affairs, and the Honorable Elizabeth Truss, British Foreign Minister for International Trade.
At the first meeting between the current Brazilian and British governments, the two sides realized the changing background of JETCO, both politically with Britain having left the EU, and because of Covid-19. The moment presented both opportunity and a sense of urgency in pressing for a closer and deeper relationship between Britain and Brazil. The two sides reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening bilateral commercial relations and to cooperate in promoting bilateral trade and investment relations between the two countries.
Brazil and the UK have agreed to do their best to build a long-term vision for enhancing their trade relationship, in order to maximize potential opportunities. To that end, they agreed to continue working on market access and to intensify preparations for a future Free Trade Agreement, where they would reconvene to check progress within six months.
The two countries recognized that the Treaty to avoid Double Taxation would facilitate a substantial increase in trade and investment flows between Brazil and the UK. It has become one of the top investment promotion mechanisms raised by companies in both countries. They are committed to developing further discussions to address technical issues, and report on progress made on the next Economic and Financial Dialogue between the Chancellor of the United Kingdom and the Minister of the Economy of Brazil.
Brazil and the United Kingdom note the opportunities brought about by an intensive exchange of views on market access, services, intellectual property, trade facilitation and the business environment to enhance bilateral cooperation, trade and investment flows. The UK strongly welcomes the recent modernization of Brazilian regulations affecting an estimated £ 140 million of UK exports across sectors including Agriculture, Financial Services and Energy.
Britain welcomes news that Brazil has amended its national Geographical Indication law, which allows gentilics to be registered, and Brazil is committed to considering the application of the Scotch Whiskey Association for recognition of scotch whiskey. The UK said it would welcome Brazil’s future GI applications, including Cachaça, from 1 January when the UK Government will launch its new GI scheme. The minister asked for renewal in four months.
The two Ministers emphasized the role of free and open trade in providing economic growth and prosperity for the economies and people of Brazil and Britain, especially to recover from the economic shocks of Covid-19. They agreed that this recovery should be based on building more sustainable and resilient economies and reaffirmed their commitment to promoting low carbon growth and green jobs. They also agreed to pursue their trade relationship in a way that contributes to sustainable development and builds on their multilateral commitments, and reaffirmed their commitment to better support the transition to more sustainable energy sources and supply chains, noting the importance of fighting illegal deforestation. . The UK also stressed the importance of dialogue with other major consuming and producing countries, to promote sustainable growth ahead of COP26.
Brazil and the United Kingdom recognize the importance of strengthening economic ties through clean and sustainable growth. They have accelerated discussions and intend to sign, before the end of 2020, a Memorandum of Understanding that strengthens mutual cooperation on clean growth, while supporting efficient and competitive energy markets and encouraging more trade and investment.
The two Ministers also recognized the importance of the services sector and supported greater cooperation between UK and Brazilian regulators as a way to exchange best practices on regulatory issues on services to provide a more efficient business environment in both jurisdictions and increase bilateral service trade and investment. .
Turning to the sustainable challenges presented by Covid-19, the UK and Brazil remain committed to keeping supply chains open and functioning. The United Kingdom recognizes Brazil’s important role as a major food exporter and its efforts to keep exports afloat despite the logistical constraints brought about by the pandemic. The two countries agreed to build on the commitment made by the G20 Trade Ministers on 14 May 2020 to keep trade in medical goods flowing in connection with the use of trade restrictions during the pandemic. Brazil and Britain agreed to work together towards permanent measures that ensure greater liberalization of these goods, while preventing new export restrictions and strengthening their health care systems, ensuring essential supplies to both countries.
Brazil and the UK agree that strong international cooperation, including through the G20 and multilateral economic forums, is necessary to promote a sustainable global economic recovery. The two countries reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening a rules-based multilateral trading system, and agreed on the need for comprehensive World Trade Organization reforms to increase transparency. It was agreed that this is essential to promote investment, increase productivity and integrate the economy into global supply chains. Brazil hopes to work with Britain in the WTO as an independent member. Brazil also emphasized that, as part of the current momentum of bilateral relations, its market access conditions must not be damaged by Britain’s exit from the European Union.
Brazil’s request to join the Government Procurement Agreement is recognized as an important step towards liberalizing trade and investment. The UK also reiterates its firm and active support for Brazil’s accession to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and is pleased to announce an additional £ 600,000 allocation to the Prosperity Fund that will help accelerate this process by accelerating work. about transfer prices in Brazil.
The ministers were pleased that business representatives from the two countries could meet, before the Plenary meeting, at the business roundtable, where they had the opportunity to highlight and discuss the opportunities and challenges faced by their companies in relation to bilateral trade and investment. Their discussions were reported to the Plenary and both parties agreed to further develop joint initiatives based on these discussions.
Ministers celebrate the holding of the 5th Brazil – United Kingdom High-level Strategic Dialogue meeting on October 7, chaired by the Brazilian Foreign Minister and the British Foreign Minister. They also expressed hope that the 4th meeting of Brazil – United Kingdom Economic and Financial Dialogue (EFD) will take place before the end of the year, chaired by the Minister of Economy of Brazil and the Chancellor of the Finance of Great Britain.
Brazil and the UK aim to continue to work together in the context of JETCO in order to build a productive dialogue to strengthen bilateral commercial and investment relations.