G20 leaders seek measures for youth, women

President of the European Central Bank Christine Lagarde arrives for a Welcome Dinner at the Murabba Palace in Riyadh on February 22, 2020 during the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors meeting. (AFP)
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Updated 24 February 2020

G20 leaders seek measures for youth, women

  • The Kingdom’s finance minister joined calls to enhance access to opportunities for all

RIYADH: G20 finance ministers and central bank governors have agreed to encourage the use of digital financial services in order to boost inclusion for under-served groups, especially women, youth, and small and medium enterprises.

Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan said: “The global economy has not been delivering for all, as we can see from the persistence of income inequality as well as gender and age gaps and employment. Ministers and governors discussed the potential policies to enhance access to opportunities for all.”

The ministers underscored the need of an inclusive approach to growth, and to tap economic potential to help address inequality and help all segments of society, especially women and youth. 

“Therefore, the ministers and the governors agreed to develop new policy options that countries can draw to enhance access to opportunities for all, for empowering people,” said the minister.

“This topic is highly relevant for the MENA region and we are looking forward to actions that will lead us toward more inclusion in the region and beyond,” added Al -Jadaan. 

“One of our presidency’s priorities is to mobilize the necessary financing for developing and low income countries. The G20 leaders committed in 2018 to reach a global consensus-based solution that addresses the tax challenges arising from the digitalization of the economy,” he added.

They stressed the importance of an all-OECD inclusive framework to reach an agreement on key policy features at their next meeting in July. “We recognize that businesses would face a significant increase in its compliance burden and tax uncertainty if no agreement is reached within the timeline,” he said.

On taxation he said: “We welcome recent progress made on the tax challenges arising from the digitalization of the economy.” 

On harmonizing the Saudi tax regime according to global norms Al-Jadaan said: “I assure you that we are within the global norm. Saudi Arabia is part of the globe and we obviously look forward to ensuring that our tax regime is business friendly.

“The tax regime generally in the context of the G20 is a really important one and one of the topics that we have discussed today is ensuring that not only developed but also no devoting nation is left behind,” he said.

Al-Jadaan commented on Lebanon, saying that it “is an Arab country, and we care for what happens there.”

Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, said: “We met at a time of particular uncertainty. The projected recovery is fragile and predicated on a return to normal conditions in previously stressed or under-performing economies.”


South Korea seeks arrest of Samsung heir in succession probe

Updated 04 June 2020

South Korea seeks arrest of Samsung heir in succession probe

  • Jay Y. Lee faces a return to jail just a little over two years after being released from detention

SEOUL: South Korean prosecutors have requested an arrest warrant against Samsung Group heir Jay Y. Lee, they said on Thursday, in the investigation of a controversial 2015 merger and alleged accounting fraud in a suspected bid to aid his succession plans.
The move spells fresh trouble for Lee, who, if arrested, faces a return to jail just a little over two years after being released from detention in February 2018.
Lee already faces trial on a charge of bribery aimed at winning support to succeed ailing group patriarch Lee Kun-hee, and which involved former President Park Geun-hye, and spent a year in detention until the bribery case was suspended in 2018.
Prosecutors said they sought Lee’s arrest on suspicions of stock price manipulation and audit rule violations, among other offenses.
In a statement, Lee’s lawyers expressed “deep regret” at the prosecution’s decision to seek his arrest, adding that he had fully cooperated with the investigation while Samsung was going through management crises.
Prosecutors have been investigating suspected accounting fraud at drug company Samsung Biologics after the Korean financial watchdog complained the firm’s value had been inflated by $3.7 billion in 2015.
Prosecutors contend the violation helped boost the value of its major owner, Cheil Industries, which counted Lee as its top shareholder, and merged with Samsung C&T, a de facto holding firm, Yonhap news agency said.
Samsung requested an outside review of the investigation to weigh the validity of the indictment and the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office is following the necessary procedures, it said in a statement.
Last month, prosecutors questioned Lee, 51, over the latest investigation. He also apologized for a series of controversies around his succession planning.
Lee’s year in detention followed separate charges that he bribed Park to win government support for the 2015 merger which helped tighten his control of South Korea’s top conglomerate.