Future Investment Initiative - Day 3

The three-day Future Investment Initiatives in Riyadh holds it final session today, Thursday. (AFP)
Updated 25 October 2018

Future Investment Initiative - Day 3

RIYADH: The Future Investment Initiative (FII) is entering its final day, with four discussion panels on themes including infrastructure, technology and the economy.

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Thursday’s plenary session opened with Mohammed Al-Jadaan, the Saudi minister of finance, and Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Khalifa, his Bahraini counterpart discussing fiscal balance.



Mohammed Al-Tuwaijri, the Saudi Economy Minister, Bassem Awadallah, chief executive of Tomoh Advisory, Darren Davis, acting CEO of Ma’aden and Kirill Dmitriev, chief executive of Russian Direct Investment Fund, meanwhile discussed privatization models with Frank Kane, senior business columnist for Arab News, moderating the session.



Three chief executives meanwhile presented the gigaprojects being undertaken in the Kingdom: John Pagano for the Red Sea project, Michael Reininger for Qiddiya and Nadhmi Al-Nasr for NEOM.







The morning plenary sessions was capped by a panel on investments in frontier technologies with scheduled speakers Ritesh Agarwal, CEO and founder of Oyo Hotels; Michael Marks, chairman and co-founder of Katerra; Meshal Al-Harasani, Inventor and Advisor at King Abdulaziz University and Munish Varma, partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers.

For our comprehensive coverage of the event click, here.

France ready to take Trump’s tariff threat to WTO

Updated 08 December 2019

France ready to take Trump’s tariff threat to WTO

  • Macron government will discuss a global digital tax with Washington at the OECD, says finance minister

PARIS: France is ready to go to the World Trade Organization to challenge US President Donald Trump’s threat to put tariffs on French goods in a row over a French tax on internet companies, its finance minister said on Sunday.

“We are ready to take this to an international court, notably the WTO, because the national tax on digital companies touches US companies in the same way as EU or French companies or Chinese. It is not discriminatory,” Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told France 3 television. Paris has long complained about US digital companies not paying enough tax on revenues earned in France.

In July, the French government decided to apply a 3 percent levy on revenue from digital services earned in France by firms with more than €25 million in French revenue and €750 million ($845 million) worldwide. It is due to kick in retroactively from the start of 2019.

Washington is threatening to retaliate with heavy duties on imports of French cheeses and luxury handbags, but France and the EU say they are ready to retaliate in turn if Trump carries out the threat. Le Maire said France was willing to discuss a global digital tax with the US at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), but that such a tax could not be optional for internet companies.

“If there is agreement at the OECD, all the better, then we will finally have a global digital tax. If there is no agreement at OECD level, we will restart talks at EU level,” Le Maire said.

He added that new EU Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni had already proposed to restart such talks.

France pushed ahead with its digital tax after EU member states, under the previous executive European Commission, failed to agree on a levy valid across the bloc after opposition from Ireland, Denmark, Sweden and Finland.

The new European Commission assumed office on Dec. 1.