Forum discusses tax cooperation among BRI’s member countries - GulfToday

Forum discusses tax cooperation among BRI’s member countries


Khalid Ali Al Bustani highlighted ways to collaborate on limiting the negative impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

Business Bureau, Gulf Today

The UAE was one of the fastest nations in setting and implementing precautionary measures to curb the spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and address the challenges it brought about, most notably to the economy, asserted Khalid Ali Al Bustani, Director General of the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) and Vice President of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) Tax Administration Cooperation Forum.

The Forum met on Wednesday via videoconferencing technology bringing together 178 participants from 38 countries and organisations from around the world. Participants explored ways to enhance tax cooperation among the countries and regions taking part in the Belt and Road initiative, going over the most successful measures taken recently, in an effort to establish an environment that supports economic growth and remove all obstacles to cross-border trade and investment.

The Forum also discussed ways to collaborate on limiting the negative impact of the COVID-19 crisis in the region and the world, showcasing the experiences of members states in that regard.

The UAE – represented by Al Bustani – was elected Vice President of the Belt and Road Initiative Tax Administration Cooperation Forum during the first meeting of the Supervisory Board in China in April 2019.

Speaking at the Forum’s latest meeting, the FTA Director General showcased the UAE’s extensive efforts and rapid responses in facing the global pandemic, ensuring the health and safety of citizens and residents, and supporting economic sectors to overcome the negative repercussions of the outbreak.

He shed light on the programmes and funds launched by government entities and community institutions in the UAE to foster solidarity and cooperation during these difficult times.

Al Bustani explained that the UAE’s health systems exhibited great efficiency in implementing a preventive approach against the virus to curb its spread, which led to the early discovery of infection cases.

“In light of the exceptional circumstances at the moment, and in an effort to overcome these challenges and mitigate their negative impact, numerous initiatives were launched to incentivise the national economy and support the affected sectors, coupled with additional support to minimise the effects of the restrictions on movement on most economic activities,” he explained.

“On the same note, the UAE Cabinet approved a stimulus package to reduce the burden on businesses, support small businesses, expedite the implementation of major government infrastructure projects,” he continued. “Meanwhile, the UAE Central Bank approved a second stimulus package to support credit and liquidity, to the benefit of the business sector, SMEs, and individuals. This is in addition to several support packages introduced by local governments.”

“The Federal Tax Authority has taken several measures to support businesses registered in the tax system during these difficult times, including extending Tax Periods for those registered for Excise Tax. An alternative and exceptional deadline was also set for submitting Tax Returns and settling Value Added Tax (VAT). Furthermore, the FTA postponed implementing the final stage of phase two of the ‘Marking Tobacco and Tobacco Products’ until January 1, 2021, instead of June 1, 2020, as previously planned,” he noted.

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