Tishwash: The UN Security Council issues a resolution to release Iraqi funds: What does it include?
The Ministry of Justice announced, on Tuesday, that the UN Security Council issued a decision to release Iraqi funds seized by the Swiss government.
A ministry statement said, “Justice Minister Salar Abdul Sattar Muhammad received in his official office today, the Swiss Ambassador to Iraq Lucas Jacir, and during the meeting, they discussed ways to enhance joint cooperation between the two sides, especially the possibility of signing a memorandum of cooperation between the two ministries.” Iraqi and Swiss justice to exchange legal expertise and judicial notifications to develop the capacity development of the Ministry’s staff in the near future.
The minister called, according to the statement, to “the importance of serious cooperation between the two countries, which would contribute to strengthening frameworks and exchanging experiences, including signing a memorandum of cooperation between the two parties in the near future to serve the interests of the two friendly peoples.”
The statement said the two sides reviewed also discussed the launch of returning money to the Iraqi government are reserved to the Swiss, and the demand for lifting the booking for these funds and return the government, knowing that there is a decision issued by the Security Council , the international launch of these amounts” .
Among that, “we discussed the participation of the Republic of Iraq in the writing of the National Plan for Human Rights prepared by the ministry and other ministries represented in the National Committee to write a treaty reports which will take place in the ninth month of this year in Geneva .”
For his part, the Swiss ambassador expressed great thanks “to the Minister on the great cooperation and warm reception”, expressing his country ‘s readiness “for cooperation between the two parties, in the exchange of experiences and the possibility of signing a memorandum of cooperation between the two sides in the near future” link
Tishwash: The banking system is required to have plans that support development
The international financial and banking expert, Saif Al-Halfi, called for the adoption of ambitious plans that would contribute to building an advanced private banking system in the coming years that would replace public banks, especially since private banking systems are more development than others.
He pointed out that private banks represent the identity of the country, as it has been proven by experience in most countries of the developed world that private banks are able to solve many complex economic problems, through the gateway to lending to small and medium enterprises, which are the first stations of economic development and address many problems.
In turn, financial affairs specialist Faeq Nasser said that “the development of the private banking system and its adoption of advanced technology, which is adopted in international banks, contribute greatly to addressing all economic problems, as it will provide the necessary funding for important projects.”
He pointed out that the advanced banking system comes with what the country lacks in terms of expertise and funds needed to advance the Iraqi economy, and that the process of advancing private banks requires expanding the areas of dealing and uses with the private and public sector. link
SpiritBear: British ‘Treasure Island’ tax havens face a tempest
June 6, 2021
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s exotic network of “Treasure Island” tax havens could be facing the biggest threat to its existence in half a century after the United States and its allies pledged to squeeze more tax out of large, profitable multinational companies.
The often distant islands of Britain’s former empire have served as the premier jurisdiction for everyone from cash-rich Chinese officials to Russian oligarchs to Western firms to hedge funds seeking lower taxes – or complete secrecy.
But a tax deal hashed out by Group of Seven finance ministers in a grand 19th Century mansion near Buckingham Palace is likely to hit Britain’s treasure islands hard after decades of dodging attempts by major economies to claw back revenue.
“This is a turning moment,” said Alex Cobham, chief executive of the Tax Justice Network, an advocacy group which campaigns against tax avoidance. “We’ll look back in five or 10 years and say: ‘Yes – that is when it shifted'”.
“There is a narrative shift – this active commitment to end the race to the bottom,” said Cobham, though he accepted that the specific details could still be poorly drafted and that politicians have for years promised to crack down.
The world loses out on $427 billion a year due to corporate and personal tax evasion, according to Tax Justice Network estimates. About $245 billion of that is lost to multinationals shifting profit into tax havens and the other $182 billion is lost to wealthy individuals squirreling away assets.
If the details of the G7 pledge become an enforceable reality, then global flows of hidden profits could be redirected in one of the most fundamental ways since the days when the British empire crumbled in the 20th Century.
As British power collapsed, some of its possessions became self-governing territories that were not part of the United Kingdom but which came under British defence agreements and preserved strong links with London.
Some of these 14 British Overseas Territories – including Bermuda, British Virgin Islands (BVI), Cayman Islands, Gibraltar and Turks and Caicos Islands – started to live off a blend of beach tourism and exotic finance that activists say left both locals and distant taxpayers short-changed.
British tax havens are responsible for 29% of the $245 billion in tax the world loses to corporates, according to Tax Justice Network, which ranks BVI, Cayman Islands and Bermuda as the top three enablers of corporate tax abuse on the planet.
The finance ministries of the BVI, Cayman Islands and Bermuda did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Those British islands worst hit by the looming re-routing of corporate profits face a reckoning that will undermine the business model they have lived off for decades and that could lead to high unemployment, said Cobham.
Essentially, two rival and intertwined tax haven networks developed: a British lattice and a more continental European-flavoured one which includes Ireland, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Malta the Netherlands and Switzerland.
The G7 tax deal will make corporate tax havens much less attractive as it gives countries the right to add a top-up tax on companies’ profits in countries with tax rates lower than the global minimum.
“The ones that have traditionally served the personal market – that is the palm tree market if you like – they are by and large going to get away with this,” said Richard Murphy, a chartered accountant and visiting professor in accounting at Sheffield University Management School.
“It is the large corporate locations like Luxembourg, like Ireland, like the Netherlands that are really going to be picking up the hit here,” he said.
Countries worst hit are expected to lobby hard to retain as many of their tax advantages as they can. Key accountancy definitions such as “profit” and “tax paid” are still to be defined, Murphy said.
While Murphy saw less impact on many traditional British tax havens, he said that ultimately the most significant aspect of the G7 communique was that it sent a signal to the corporate world: “clean up your act”.
He said that would be a special concern as many Western boards face shareholders who are pressuring the for better environmental, social, and corporate governance.
“For the business community, this is sending out a very large message of ‘steer clear of these places – you could be in trouble’ and indeed some of them will be in trouble,” he said.
“Tech is obviously going to be hit but so is financial services in a big way,” Murphy said. “Banking and finance are all in the firing line for this as are potentially some of the pharmaceutical companies.”
(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Mark John and David Clarke)