UAE “surprised and disappointed” to be included in EU list of non-compliant tax jurisdictions

Dubai skyline (Shutterstock)
Updated 07 December 2017
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UAE “surprised and disappointed” to be included in EU list of non-compliant tax jurisdictions

DUBAI: The UAE says it is surprised and disappointed that it has been included in a European Union list of non-compliant tax jurisdictions, state news agency WAM reported.
In the statement, the UAE highlighted its full commitment to maintaining the highest international standards of financial oversight and tax regulation, saying it would continue to work with international partners to deliver this.
The UAE’s Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, Younis Hajji Al-Khouri, said: “The UAE has worked to meet the European Union’s requirements in terms of exchanging tax-related information.”
“We have committed to a reform process which will be finalized by October 2018, and we are absolutely confident this will ensure the UAE is swiftly removed from the list… We look forward to moving into the next phase of cooperation with our EU partners on the important issue of tax regulation.”
The statement added: “Since early 2017, the UAE has worked transparently with European Union counterparts to ensure that we meet the criteria laid down by European Union Member States. As the European Union has itself noted, the UAE has addressed each and every issue the EU has raised. The UAE has drafted, legislated and implemented significant reforms to ensure that we remain in lock-step with our OECD partners and international best practice.”
It continued: “The sole outstanding issue is the implementation of the base erosion and profit shifting, BEPS, Minimum Standard, which we have committed to finalize by October 2018 and ratify by March 2019 – giving our federal structure sufficient time to allow for ratification across the seven Emirates. We stand by this realistic timeline.”
“The UAE will continue to work with international partners on this issue, and is confident that it will be recognized as an internationally compliant partner at the EU’s next review,” the statement concluded.


Can a hungry Mali turn rice technology into ‘white gold’?

Updated 20 October 2018
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Can a hungry Mali turn rice technology into ‘white gold’?

  • Malians are cautiously turning to a controversial farming technique to adapt to the effects of climate change
  • Dubbed the System of Rice Intensification (SRI), the new method was pioneered in Madagascar in 1983

BAGUINEDA: When rice farmers started producing yields nine times larger than normal in the Malian desert near the famed town of Timbuktu a decade ago, a passerby could have mistaken the crop for another desert mirage.
Rather, it was the result of an engineering feat that has left experts in this impoverished nation in awe — but one that has yet to spread widely through Mali’s farming community.
“We must redouble efforts to get political leaders on board,” said Djiguiba Kouyaté, a coordinator in Mali for German development agency GIZ.
With hunger a constant menace, Malians are cautiously turning to a controversial farming technique to adapt to the effects of climate change.

 

Dubbed the System of Rice Intensification (SRI), the new method was pioneered in Madagascar in 1983. It involves planting fewer seeds of traditional rice varieties and taking care of them following a strict regime.
Seedlings are transplanted at a very young age and spaced widely. Soil is enriched with organic matter, and must be kept moist, though the system uses less water than traditional rice farming.
Up to 20 million farmers now use SRI in 61 countries, including in nearby Sierra Leone, Senegal and Ivory Coast, said Norman Uphoff, of the SRI International Network and Resources Center at Cornell University in the US.
But, despite its success, the technique has been embraced with varying degrees of enthusiasm. Uphoff said that is because it competes with the improved hybrid and inbred rice varieties that agricultural corporations sell.
For Faliry Boly, who heads a rice-growing association, the prospect of rice becoming a “white gold” for Mali should spur on authorities and farmers to adopt rice intensification.
The method could increase yields while also offering a more environmentally-friendly alternative, including by replacing chemical fertilizers with organic ones, he said.
He also pointed out that rice intensification naturally lends itself to Mali’s largely arid climate.

FACTOID

Up to 20 million farmers now use rice intensification in 61 countries, including in nearby Sierra Leone, Senegal and Ivory Coast.