Min­is­ter Sci­cluna at Eurogroup and in­for­mal Ecofin meet­ing

The Malta Business Weekly - - NEWS -

At the In­for­mal Ecofin meet­ing in Vi­enna, held on 7 and 8 Septem­ber, Min­is­ter Sci­cluna wel­comed the pro­posal on the In­vest EU pro­gramme com­pris­ing a single fund for all EU level fi­nan­cial in­stru­ments in the MFF 2020-2027.

He told the meet­ing that while the in­te­gra­tion of all in­vest­ment pro­grammes of the Union should serve to sim­plify the frame­work, one should be care­ful not to in­tro­duce bu­reau­cratic pro­ce­dures and com­plex­ity es­pe­cially for small mem­ber states or worse, threaten the suc­cess which the EIB has ob­tained so far in the in­vest­ment field, in­clud­ing the EFSI pro­gramme.

On the pro­posal for a dig­i­tal tax the min­is­ter con­ceded that the in­ter­na­tional cor­po­ra­tion tax frame­works were con­ceived in a pre-in­ter­net age and con­tinue to rely heav­ily on the con­cept of a phys­i­cal pres­ence.

Fur­ther­more, in a dig­i­talised world it can prove dif­fi­cult to pin down the value that has been cre­ated, how it has been cre­ated and how it should be taxed.

In this con­text Malta’s pref­er­ence is there­fore for any changes to be con­sid­ered un­der the aegis of the OECD’s BEPS In­clu­sive Frame­work which has been tasked to come up with a con­sen­sus-based solution by 2020. The pro­posed short-term quick fixes leave some many ques­tions unan­swered and in­tro­duce many risks.

Dur­ing the ex­change of views on the euro area's eco­nomic out­look with the Chair of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment's Eco­nomic and Mone­tary Af­fairs Com­mit­tee, Roberto Gualtieri at the Eurogroup, Min­is­ter Sci­cluna high­lighted sev­eral po­ten­tial is­sues con­fronting the euro area in­clud­ing Brexit, global pro­tec­tion­ism and the ex­pected in­ter­est rate in­creases.

In this con­text, Min­is­ter Sci­cluna em­pha­sised the need to con­cen­trate ef­forts on safe­guard­ing in­vest­ment to en­sure fu­ture sus­tain­able growth.

The Min­is­ter for Fi­nance was ac­com­pa­nied by per­ma­nent sec­re­tary Al­fred Camil­leri.

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