- Title: UK's Sunak tells G7 world expects tax reform
- Date: 4th June 2021
- Summary: LAUWIN-PLANQUE, FRANCE (FILE - MARCH 19, 2020) (REUTERS) TOWER ENTRANCE TO AMAZON WAREHOUSE BRETIGNY-SUR-ORGE, FRANCE (FILE - OCTOBER 22, 2019) (REUTERS) AMAZON LOGO AMAZON WAREHOUSE BUILDING
- Embargoed: 18th June 2021 11:08
- Keywords: Amazon Facebook G7 Google Group of Seven Rishi Sunak finance ministers summit tax
- Location: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM / MOUNTAIN VIEW AND MENLO PARK, CALIFORNIA, AND NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES / PARIS, LAUWIN-PLANQUE, AND BRETIGNY-SUR-ORGE, FRANCE
- City: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM / MOUNTAIN VIEW AND MENLO PARK, CALIFORNIA, AND NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES / PARIS, LAUWIN-PLANQUE, AND BRETIGNY-SUR-ORGE, FRANCE
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Diplomacy/Foreign Policy,Europe,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA006EFZKJT3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Finance ministers from the G7 group of rich nations are meeting in London on Friday (June 4) for two days of talks aimed at moving closer to a global deal to raise more tax from the likes of Google, Facebook and Amazon.
The gathering, chaired by British finance minister Rishi Sunak, is the first time the ministers have met face-to-face since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Rich nations have struggled for years to agree a way to raise more tax from large multinational companies, which often book profits in jurisdictions where they pay little or no tax.
U.S. President Joe Biden's willingness to raise taxes on large businesses now creates more chance of an international consensus than under his predecessor Donald Trump, and a need to repair COVID-hit public finances makes it more pressing.
"I believe we can make significant progress in tackling some of the world's most pressing economic challenges," Sunak told reporters on Friday shortly before the meeting began.
Sunak stressed the importance of his fellow ministers from the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Italy and Canada being able to meet face-to-face in Lancaster House, an ornate 19th-century mansion almost next door to Buckingham Palace.
Due to COVID restrictions, ministerial delegations have been cut down and there are few travelling journalists.
Seating plans have been redesigned with the help of public health officials, and Sunak greeted leaders by bumping elbows, not shaking hands.
But the bigger challenge remains reaching an agreement on tax reform which could then be presented to a broader group of countries, the G20, at a summit in Venice in July.
In a joint letter on Friday, finance ministers from Germany, France and Italy wrote that they would "commit to defining a common position on a new international tax system at the G7 Finance Ministers meeting in London."
Spain also signed the letter.
Speaking during the ministers' opening meeting, Sunak said the rest of the world expected them to make significant progress.
"We cannot continue to rely on a tax system that was largely designed in the 1920s. And I will just say this: the world has noticed. And I believe they have high expectations for what we all can agree over the coming days," he said as he opened the two-day meeting in London
However, Japanese finance minister Taro Aso said on Monday (May 31) that he did not expect agreement this week on a specific minimum tax rate.
The U.S. Treasury expects a fuller agreement to come when Biden and other heads of government meet at a secluded beach resort in southwest England on June 11-13.
(Production: Ben Dangerfield)
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