Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 8th 2015 Contents OCTOBER 8 • 2015 www.guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
INTERNATIONAL | BG21
India and Germany pledged on Monday
to revive efforts to reach an Indo-
European free trade pact after talks
were derailed by a ban on Indian gener-
ic drugs, and struck deals to promote
clean energy and make it easier to do
Although Chancellor Angela Merkel and
Prime Minister Narendra Modi made no men-
tion when they addressed journalists of resum-
ing talks on a free trade agreement between
India and the European Union, it was perhaps
the key "deliverable" of her trip to New Delhi.
The leaders "committed themselves to bring-
ing about the earliest possible resumption of
talks", said a joint statement issued after their
Asia s third-largest economy has been rel-
atively insulated from a slump in global trade.
But Modi still needs to boost exports for his
pitch to investors to "Make in India" to create
skilled jobs for millions of young Indians.
Germany, Europe s largest economy, is look-
ing to expand its presence in India to com-
pensate for a slowdown in China. Merkel s
delegation was joined by bosses from household
names like Siemens, Airbus, EON and
The trade talks have been on ice since earlier
this year when India walked out in a row over
exports of generic drugs to the European Union.
India s top diplomat made clear Modi was
counting on Merkel to help lift "unwarranted"
restrictions on the sale of more than 700
Indian medications in the EU.
"It s our hope that this matter would be
looked at fairly and sensibly and would hope-
fully not be an impediment to the free trade
deal," Foreign Secretary Subrahmanian Jais-
hankar told a briefing.
Germany, a world leader in renewable energy,
will also provide more than two billion euros
(US$2.25 billion) in aid for solar projects and
green energy corridors--- high-efficiency power
grids---as part of a push for sustainable devel-
The assistance, part of a raft of 18 agree-
ments signed in New Delhi, dovetails with
efforts to bind India into a global debate that
will culminate in the COP21 climate change
summit in December.
"We look forward to a concrete outcome at
COP21 in Paris that strengthens the commit-
ment and the ability of the world, especially
of poor and vulnerable countries, to transition
to a more sustainable growth path," Modi told
India, the world s third-largest emitter of
greenhouse gases, was the last major country
to submit its energy strategy ahead of the UN
India s energy plan seeks to boost energy
efficiency but makes no commitment to reduce
emissions of greenhouse gases; reflecting its
view that richer nations bear most responsi-
bility for global warming.
Responding, Merkel said: "We have under-
stood, Prime Minister, that climate protection
needs to be embraced by the people; who also
have to reap a benefit."
India and Germany also signed an agreement
to fast-track business approvals, providing
German firms with a single point of contact
to help them navigate a web of red tape that
often thwarts initiative. Reuters
Dozens of world economies are close to
adopting sweeping changes to international
tax rules that could end tax-dodging by pow-
erful multinationals; practices believed to
deprive governments of up to US$240 billion
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation
and Development released Monday a plan
that, among other things, aims to end tax
shelters and require companies to pay taxes
in the countries where they earn profits.
Aid groups say it isn t tough enough and
won t start fast enough. And business groups
fear the rules won t be applied the same
everywhere and will unfairly punish some
But everyone agrees it s an ambitious plan.
The OECD says its proposal represents "the
most fundamental changes to international
tax rules in almost a century."
Sixty-two governments, companies and
non-governmental groups were involved in
Finance ministers from the 20 leading world
economies will discuss the plan in Peru on
Thursday, and their leaders are expected to
finalise it at a G-20 summit next month in
Google, Facebook, Starbucks and Amazon
are among many companies criticised for
shifting profits to low-tax jurisdictions.
Tackling corporate tax-dodging is especially
important for developing countries that rely
heavily on tax income to reduce poverty and
build infrastructure. But it s also important
for stagnant economies in Europe and else-
where that are struggling to tax major global
companies that make their money online.
Questions remain about how countries
would put the measures in place and, crucially,
how they d be enforced.
Oxfam said in a statement Monday that
corporations played too big a role in the nego-
tiations. As a result, Oxfam said, the plan
doesn t do enough to ensure that multina-
tionals pay tax where they do business, and
allows some practices to continue through
The International Chamber of Commerce
warned of "significant challenges ahead to
ensure rules are implemented in a coherent
and coordinated fashion."
While the US and other governments may
not adopt all the OECD measures, global
accounting firm KPMG urged corporations
to take heed of Monday s announcement.
The plan should be "a call to action for
many multinationals to focus on new trans-
parency and reporting obligations that likely
will become law in a number of countries,"
said Manal Corwin, a former US Treasury
official overseeing this issue for KPMG s inter-
national tax team. AP
German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, second right, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, left,
walk during their visit to German engineering company Bosch's vocational centre in Bangalore,
India, Tuesday, October 6, 2015. Merkel is on a three day visit to India. AP
vow to revive
Top economies move toward crackdown on corporate tax dodging
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