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Sun 10 Feb 2019 12:03 PM

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French finance minister decries 'tax havens' at World Government Summit in Dubai

In a wide ranging speech, Bruno Le Maire said France would move against "unacceptable" tax havens around the world in its term hosting the presidency of the G7

French finance minister decries 'tax havens' at World Government Summit in Dubai
Bruno Le Maire said the country’s President Emmanuel Macron would take the opportunity to push for a minimum corporate tax rate at economies around the world.

France’s Minister of Economy and Finance, Bruno Le Maire, has called out for an end to the existence of zero-tax havens around the world, saying that his country will be working with the G7 countries to deliberate legislation against them.

Le Maire was speaking at the 7th annual World Government Summit being held in Dubai from February 10-12. The annual summit resembles the World Economic Forum held in Davos in its ability to attract heads of state, government officials, technologists, billionaires and thought leaders toward conversations to ‘Shape the Future of the World’.

“Tax competition is good because it teaches economies to be unacceptable. But zero tax haven are unacceptable,” said Le Maire in an impassioned speech at the Summit.

France hosts the G7 presidency this year, and in meetings to be held in March, Le Maire said the country’s President Emmanuel Macron would take the opportunity to push for a minimum corporate tax rate at economies around the world.

“We need an effective corporate tax because some companies are located in tax havens but operate subsidiaries in France thus circumventing any and all tax,” he said.

“France wants fair taxation of internet giants.

We can’t fund public goods without fair taxation of digital activities. And taxing SMEs cant make up for the richest companies in the world. So we hope to have a solution by March,” he said.

Le Maire also added that France would continue to push for social reforms in its bid to position itself as Europe’s leading economy.

Acknowledging that the country was facing “a social crisis at the moment” because of populist protests around the country in response to Macron’s implementation of social fiscal reforms, he said, “We will remain determined to enact even more social reforms to make it a more attractive place for investment in Europe. We want to be Europe’s leader.”