The latest: OECD chief praises G-20 tax deal

The landmark international tax agreement that was endorsed at the Group of 20 summit on Saturday will make international business taxes more equitable and aid governments in funding their recovery from the pandemic.

The latest: OECD chief praises G-20 tax deal

This was according to the head of the international organization responsible for the negotiations.

Mathias Cormann (secretary-general of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) stated that the agreement "will make our international fiscal arrangements fairer and more effective in a digitalized and globally connected economy."

Paris-based OECD supervised talks that resulted in an agreement between 136 countries. This is being presented to G-20 for approval in closing statement, Sunday. It will be followed by enactment at national level starting from 2023.

Multinational companies will be required to have a global corporate minimum of 15% tax in place. The home country would be subject to a top-up tax if the foreign earnings of their companies are not taxed or light taxed in low rate countries.

Cormann stated that the global minimum "completely eliminates incentives for businesses around the globe to restructure and avoid tax."

Cormann disagreed, saying that tax justice advocates and some countries in developing countries had suggested that the rate should be higher. He said that the agreement was a consensus result of "give-and-take all the way around", which included developing countries. He stated that a 15% corporate tax rate was 15% higher than what we currently have.


ROME -- A group of 20 leaders has unanimously endorsed a global tax on corporations that is a universal minimum tax. This move is being hailed as a benefit to American workers and businesses by Janet L. Yellen, U.S. Treasury Secretary.

A few months ago, the Group of Twenty countries' finance ministers had reached an agreement on a 15% minimum tax. It was widely anticipated that it would be officially approved at Saturday's summit in Rome by the world’s economic powerhouses.

In a statement, Yellen said that the agreement on new international tax rules with a minimum global income tax "will end the harmful race to the bottom in corporate taxation."

Sunday afternoon is the end of the summit.


ROME-- President Joe Biden, first lady Jill Biden, arrived at St. Patrick's Church in Rome on Saturday Vigil Mass. This was a day after he told reporters that Pope Francis had instructed him to continue receiving Communion despite the protestations of some conservatives in America about his position on abortion.

Biden is currently attending the English-speaking Church that is the main place for worship for the American Catholic Community in Rome. It is located just down the street from the U.S Embassy.

This was in between the Group of 20 summit, which took place this weekend in Rome.

Biden attends Mass regularly in Washington, Delaware or close to his Wilmington home.

A woven chasuble (or liturgical vestment) was one of Biden's gifts for the pope Friday. It was made by Gammarelli, the famous papal tailor, and was used by the pope’s Jesuit order in America. It was kept in the archives at Holy Trinity Church, Washington's regular parish.


ROME -- During a meeting at the Group of 20 summit, the French President Emmanuel Macron met with Narendra Modi, the Indian Prime Minister. They agreed to strengthen ties in the Indo-Pacific.

Macron's office stated that India and France will hold a "strategic dialog" in Paris next week to establish a common agenda. These talks will discuss bilateral, regional, and international issues.

After the September announcement of a secretly negotiated submarine agreement between Australia, the U.S., and Britain, France said India was its "main partner" within the Indo-Pacific region.

Macron's office highlighted "trust" as well as "independence" among the principles that must guide France's and India's actions within the region shaken up by China's growing influence.

On Saturday, Macron met with Moon Jae-in and Joko Widodo in Indonesia to discuss similar issues.


ROME-- Leaders expressed broad support for a landmark agreement to establish a global 15% corporate tax. This goal aims to deter multinational countries from using clever accounting techniques to avoid taxes.

Officials from Italy, the host country, stated that leaders discussed the proposal in the opening session of Saturday's summit. After Sunday's closing speech, formal approval will be given and countries will enact the minimum taxes on their own. If a firm's profits are not taxed enough in another country, the headquarters countries will raise their tax to 15%.

Profits can be made in today's digital economy and global economy from intangibles like copyrights or trademarks. These can easily be transferred to countries with near-zero tax rates in the hopes of attracting more revenue.

The key question is whether or not the U.S. Congress will adopt legislation to comply with the directive, as the U.S. hosts 28% of the largest multinationals in the world.


ROME -- Police removed a few dozen protestors from the main boulevard in Rome, near the G-20 summit site.

The activists blockaded the road with banners and placards hours before leaders from the United States, Britain, France, and other economically powerful nations arrived in New York on Saturday to begin the two-day gathering. One banner read: "From Rome, Glasgow, your solutions will solve the problem."

Many G-20 leaders will fly to Glasgow (Scotland) on Sunday night for a critical climate summit.

Police officers lifted the demonstrators and took them to a side street. The protesters remained on the pavement blocking traffic.

U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres expressed concern Friday that leaders at the climate meeting may fail to fulfill their promises, leaving humanity vulnerable to a "calamitous rise" in global temperatures.


ROME -- In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the French presidency has announced that leaders from the European Union will meet with African leaders to discuss ways in which they can support the continent’s poorest countries.

French President Emmanuel Macron will host the informal meeting at France's embassy, Rome, on Saturday. This will take place alongside the G-20 summit.

Macron said to reporters that he expected the G-20 to confirm $100 billion more to support Africa's economy.

The money will be made available by reallocating some special drawing rights to African countries, which is a foreign currency tool that was originally intended to go to advanced economies and used to finance imports.

The meeting will feature the participation of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and EU Council President Charles Michel. There will also be African Union President Felix Tshisekedi, and Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

The Elysee announced that the heads of state for South Africa and Senegal Cyril Ramaphosa, and Macky Sall will participate via videoconference.


ROME -- Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister, has denied that his government’s policies on coal-burning and air travel have undermined his message that the world must stop relying on fossil fuels.

Johnson will be welcoming world leaders to Glasgow (Scotland) for the United Nations climate summit. He wants them to increase their commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

However, the tax rate on domestic flights was slashed by his government. The UK's first ever deep coal mine has been approved for approval.

Johnson stated Saturday that Britain's carbon dioxide emission reduction pledge was among the most "punchiest" of all countries.

Johnson stated that "people can see what Britain's done." Johnson spoke in Rome while attending the G-20 summit. "When I was young, 80% of our power was generated from hydrocarbons," Johnson said. But by 2035, "we will have no hydrocarbons in power generation." We are the most ambitious country of Europe.

"By 2030 we are pledging to eliminate hydrocarbon internal combustion engines in new cars. This is a very, very ambitious timeline.


ROME -- U.S. Vice President Joe Biden was welcomed by Mario Draghi, the Italian Prime Minister. He arrived at the Group of 20 summit site near Rome and joined other world leaders for a family photo.

Biden met with Recep Tayyip Erdan, the Turkish President, and French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday.

Biden was moved by organizers to the left side of the stage, in the first row. He spoke warmly with Felix Tshisekedi, African Union Chair. Recently, the U.S. brokered a deal that allowed the African Union to buy Moderna COVID-19 doses for the first time.


ROME -- Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister, arrived late to the "family photo" of the leaders at the Group of 20 summit in Rome.

When Johnson and Justin Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minister, walked across from a bilateral meeting, other leaders were already assembled on a raised platform. Some of the leaders in waiting made funny chiding sounds at latecomers.

Johnson called "Hey Joe" to U.S. President Joe Biden as he took his seat.

During a spat between the U.K. and France over fishing licenses, Johnson stood by French President Emmanuel Macron. They had a mock-combative handshake, but they did not seem to be speaking to each other.

Other leaders variedly bumped fists or shook hands, or did the "namaste!" greeting. Macron presented Biden with a two-handed clasp and a forearm pat.

A group of front-line workers such as firefighters, medics and firefighters joined the leaders for photos. They were applauded in turn by the politicians.


VATICAN CITY -- After plans to invite Pope Francis to India in 2017, the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited Pope Francis.

Modi extended the invitation to Modi Saturday at the Vatican during a long meeting before heading to Rome for the Group of 20 summit.

Modi tweeted: "Had an extremely warm meeting with Pope Francis. I was able to talk to him about a variety of topics and also invited him for a visit to India.

According to the Vatican's official communique, Modi's brief visit with the Vatican secretary of state was short and that only "the cordial relations between India and the Holy See were discussed".

Francis had hoped that he would visit India and Bangladesh in 2017. After lengthy negotiations with the Indian government, Francis decided to travel instead to Bangladesh or Myanmar.


ROME -- Boris Johnson, British Prime Minister, has announced that the U.K. will donate 20,000,000 doses of AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccines to developing countries as part if its efforts to share vaccines with those countries who are severely lacking them.

Johnson made the announcement while he was arriving in Rome to attend a summit of leaders from Group of 20. The summit starts Saturday.

According to the U.K., 10 million doses of the UN-backed COVAX vaccine sharing program have been sent. Ten million more are expected to follow in the next few weeks.

These 10 million doses join the already delivered doses and are part of Britain's commitment that it will share 100 million doses by 2022 with countries in need.

Johnson encouraged the club of economic power to push for the vaccination of the world by 2022. He stated that the G-20's first priority must be to accelerate the equitable distribution of vaccines worldwide.

Britain and other wealthy countries have been accused of having more vaccines than they actually need. However, some countries, particularly in Africa, only have a few. Gordon Brown, former British Prime Minister and a World Health Organization health envoy has called on the G-20 countries to accelerate their efforts to airlift unused doses to developing nations.

As he prepares for hosting a U.N. Climate Summit in Glasgow, Scotland starting Sunday, the British leader hopes to also focus the minds of G-20 leaders on climate commitments.

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