UAE, Kuwait sign deal to eliminate double taxation
UAE, Kuwait sign deal to eliminate double taxation /node/2458616/business-economy
UAE, Kuwait sign deal to eliminate double taxation
This landmark deal was signed during the 8th Arab Fiscal Forum, which took place on the eve of the World Governments Summit 2024, signaling a significant step toward economic integration between the two nations.
RIYADH: Trading between Kuwait and the UAE is set to get a boost thanks to an agreement aimed at eliminating double taxation on income and curbing tax evasion.
This landmark deal was signed during the 8th Arab Fiscal Forum, which took place on the eve of the World Governments Summit 2024, signaling a significant step toward economic integration between the two nations, as reported by the Kuwait News Agency.
Kuwaiti Finance Minister Anwar Al-Mudhaf and his UAE counterpart, Mohamed Hussaini, formalized the agreement, with representatives from the IMF monitoring the talks.
Al-Mudhaf highlighted the deal’s role in fostering financial integration and the free movement of capital between Kuwait and the UAE in a discussion with the Emirates News Agency, also known as WAM.
He underscored the agreement’s contribution to broader regional economic unification efforts.
Al-Mudhaf went on to emphasize the strategic significance of the WGS, an annual forum for deliberating on future prospects and pressing global challenges.
He remarked that Kuwait’s participation underscores the deep-rooted strategic relations between Kuwait and the UAE.
Al-Mudhaf further noted that the participation of over 25 heads of state, 140 government delegations, and upward of 85 international and regional bodies in the summit underscores the UAE’s international standing and its critical economic and political influence.
A report by Deloitte in August 2022 highlighted that Kuwait and the UAE had laid the groundwork for this taxation agreement, marking a pioneering step in their collaboration to enhance tax-related cooperation and unify their economic and investment partnership.
The deal was first initiated to bolster investment prospects, stimulate trade activities, and support both nations’ development objectives by diversifying income sources and ensuring the comprehensive protection of goods and services.
Notably, this agreement represented Kuwait’s first such deal with a Gulf Cooperation Council member state, signifying a milestone in regional economic diplomacy.
Similarly, the income and capital tax deal between Saudi Arabia and the UAE entered into force in April 2019.
Originally signed in May 2018, the treaty was the first of its kind between the two countries.
WTO’s Abu Dhabi Declaration to empower least developed nations
Updated 12 sec ago
RIYADH: The least developed countries are set to benefit from the Abu Dhabi Declaration at the 13th WTO Ministerial Conference, improving global supply chain access.
Trade deals, aimed at fostering new agreements, will extend international trading system benefits to more nations, following intensive negotiations, as reported by the UAE’s official news agency, WAM.
Members have agreed to implement Special and Preferential Treatment for Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures and Technical Barriers to Trade. This effort supports producers in the least developed countries, facilitating their global supply chain access, the WAM report stated.
It added that the current measures of SPS constitute a staggering 90 percent of non-tariff trade barriers, posing a significant obstacle for smaller nations and being viewed as discriminatory.
In a significant development for developing countries, ministers approved a decision responding to a 23-year-old mandate. The aim is to revamp special and differential treatment provisions for improved precision, effectiveness, and operational functionality.
Saudi ‘Sah’ savings product second round opens, offering 5.63% return
Updated 03 March 2024
RIYADH: Saudi residents can once again boost their savings rates with the commencement of the second round of subscriptions for the savings product “Sah” on March 3.
The Shariah-compliant, government-backed sukuk offers a return of 5.63 percent, and redemption amounts are scheduled to be paid within a year, as disclosed by the National Debt Management Center in a release on X.
These sukuk are issued by the Ministry of Finance and organized by the NDMC.
Ireland trade minister: Saudi Arabia offers ‘extraordinary opportunity’ for Irish firms looking to invest
Simon Coveney appeared on the “Frankly Speaking” show, the full episode of which will be released on Sunday
Described Gulf region as a “really good example of how international trade can create wealth and employment”
Updated 2 min 25 sec ago
DUBAI: Saudi Arabia offers an “extraordinary opportunity” for Irish firms looking to invest in everything from technology to tourism, according to Ireland’s minister for enterprise, trade and employment.
Appearing on the Arab News current-affairs show “Frankly Speaking,” Simon Coveney singled out the Gulf region as a “really good example of how international trade can create wealth, can create employment, and also can ultimately provide stability and an absence of conflict.”
As part of a Gulf tour, Coveney recently paid a visit to Riyadh to meet with Majid Al-Qasabi, Saudi Arabia’s minister of commerce, and other high-level officials.
“The main topic of discussion was Saudi ambition, in terms of the vision for 2030, the extraordinary scale of project development that is currently happening in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” he told Katie Jensen, the host of “Frankly Speaking.”
“Whether that’s on the Red Sea coast in terms of tourism, or whether it’s the scale of development in terms of some of the other projects around Saudi Arabia, and the opportunity for international business that comes from that.
“Whether it’s construction, whether it’s technology, whether it’s energy, whether it’s transport and tourism, whether it’s medtech and the pharmaceutical industry.”
He added: “All of these sectors are very, very strong in Ireland. We have a lot of capacity. Ireland has become a very globalized economy, and some of the largest companies in the world, in many of these sectors already have a very large international presence in Ireland.”
The primary focus of Coveney’s visit to the region was the World Trade Organization’s 13th Ministerial Conference, which took place between Feb. 26 and 29 in the UAE capital, Abu Dhabi.
There, trade ministers discussed a new dispute-resolution mechanism designed to even the playing field between larger and smaller economies.
Ireland is keen to see reforms to ensure that the WTO is able to meet the challenges of the modern economy, including a boost for digital trade — known as e-commerce — and stronger action on climate change — issues the body has been slow to adapt to.
“Ireland, like every small country, wants to see the WTO working, because the WTO and its dispute-resolution mechanisms and support programs is in many ways the great leveler to allow small countries to trade under agreed rules with larger countries and larger blocs of countries,” he said.
“Ireland is a big believer in the WTO as a basis for international trade. But like many others, we’ve been somewhat frustrated at the inability of the WTO membership to get agreement on certain things.
“We’re trying to get agreement on a functioning dispute-resolution mechanism so that small and large countries can operate under the same rules. And if they don’t, there’s a mechanism that countries can refer to, to get a resolution to breakdowns.”
However, Coveney said the prevailing climate of protectionism meant that very few breakthroughs were made in the talks, adding that the apparent “retreat” of globalization provides little room for positivity.
Saudi Arabia takes bold strides toward greener future and carbon neutrality
The Kingdom is actively contributing to offsetting emissions through a comprehensive carbon credit program
Updated 02 March 2024
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has emerged as a key player when it comes to environmental responsibility, setting ambitious targets to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions via carbon credit offsets.
At the forefront of Saudi Arabia’s environmental initiatives is the dynamic approach to carbon neutrality. The Kingdom is determined to not only reduce its carbon footprint but also actively contribute to offsetting emissions through a comprehensive carbon credit program.
In an interview with Arab News, Louis Corapi, chief financial officer at Gulf Cryo, a Dubai-based gas firm, shed light on the significance of this initiative, following the company’s launch of a carbon capture and utilization facility in Rabigh.
“Through Vision 2030 and the 2060 commitment to carbon neutrality, Saudi Arabia set clear sustainability goals. Carbon credits are an important component of this strategy. Having an exchange is itself a signal to companies that this commitment is about action and requires broad participation,” Corapi said.
He added: “Secondly, credits will need to be independently verified to be counted. This field is still developing, but we’re confident that it will help to stratify the most and least effective projects.”
Corapi further added that the assignment of dollar values to carbon credits represents a transformative shift in incentivizing sustainability initiatives for companies. By attaching a monetary value to these credits, businesses gain a financial mechanism to support projects that might face challenges in traditional boardroom approvals.
“We also recognize that there are industries that are both hard to abate and vital to global economies,” he added.
Saudi Arabia is pursuing carbon neutrality with a multi-pronged approach that touches on everything from transportation to energy.
The Kingdom realizes how critical it is to actively pursue offsetting measures in addition to actively reducing its own emissions.
“What’s less discussed is that there are also many industries that require carbon dioxide as a key component to their manufacturing process. That started to change in 2014 when Gulf Cryo, together with our partner Equate, started a carbon capture plant in Kuwait,” Corapi explained.
He added: “We just commissioned a new CO2 capture plant in Petro Rabigh and are constructing the plant at Ma’aden. Together these plants will capture over 1,000 metric tonnes of CO2 per day which means 1,000 tonnes per day of fossil fuel burning is permanently stopped.”
For many years, carbon dioxide emissions have been removed and stored using carbon capture utilization and storage methods, which also enhance the quality of natural gas.
In addition to ensuring fossil fuels satisfy the world’s pressing energy demands, carbon capture simultaneously lowers emission levels and provides a means of assisting in the achievement of net-zero emissions by 2050.
Saudi Arabia declared a target of 44 million tonnes of carbon capture year by 2035, setting a high standard for emission reduction.
By 2027, Aramco and the Kingdom’s Ministry of Energy hope to build a hub in Jubail with a 9 million tonne annual storage capacity.
“Today, projects are only viable when there is a clear end user for the CO2. As long as businesses continue to evaluate investments with classical financial models, decisions are delayed, and emissions continue unabated,” Corapi said.
Furthermore, when asked for his opinion on what could be done better to implement carbon credit offset strategies, Corapi noted that “there is so much more to do, and that we don’t have time to waste,” adding: “We’ve demonstrated that effective technologies exist, but equipment is expensive to install.”
He went on to say: “Today, projects are only viable when there is a clear end user for the CO2. As long as businesses continue to evaluate investments with classical financial models, decisions are delayed, and emissions continue unabated.”
Saudi Arabia declared a target of 44 million tonnes of carbon capture year by 2035, setting a high standard for emission reduction. By 2027, Aramco and the Kingdom’s Ministry of Energy hope to build a hub in Jubail with a 9 million tonne annual storage capacity.
Corapi further emphasized that governments have the ability to influence investment decisions in sustainability by introducing new incentives. By strategically implementing policies, governments can sway the choices made by investors and businesses towards more environmentally friendly and sustainable options.
“In coordination with other countries across the region, decisions are needed on what standard credits will be certified to and experts are needed to verify the effectiveness of local projects,” Corapi explained.
Additionally, he highlighted that Saudi Arabia is actively pursuing a leadership role in the realm of sustainability through a comprehensive and proactive approach.
According to Corapi, the Kingdom achieves this “through its publicly stated commitments, forums and action platforms it hosts and participates in, to bring different interests together, funding sources it makes available, and openness to ideas from concerned individuals, international organizations, business and government agencies.”
He said: “Saudi Arabia is working hard to establish a leadership position in sustainability and to urgently implement actions that will make a real difference.”
The new carbon capture and utilization facility, a collaborative project between Petro Rabigh and Gulf Cryo — the first of its kind in the western region of Saudi Arabia dedicated to the merchant market and the second overall in the Kingdom — further steps up Saudi Arabia’s commitment to sustainability efforts.
The plant, which opened on Dec. 21, resulted from a long-term strategic partnership inked in March 2022 between the two companies to develop Petro Rabigh’s mono ethylene glycol facility in the Red Sea town of Rabigh.
The newly launched facility can directly capture 300 tonnes of carbon dioxide per day from the MEG plant. It is expected to reduce carbon emissions by 100,000 tonnes annually, achieving an 85 percent reduction in its total annual carbon footprint.
The plant will process the captured carbon dioxide to a high-purity food-grade level and transport it in liquid form for reuse.
“This landmark project anchors our leading position in CCUS solutions in the region and marks our first carbon capture project in the Kingdom,” said Abdul Salam Al-Mazro, vice chairman of Gulf Cryo, in a statement.
He added: “It underscores the importance of managing the full CO2 value chain. We reduce emissions at source while utilizing the recovered CO2 as a vital resource to help decarbonize supply chains of various industries.”
Petro Rabigh will utilize a portion of this carbon dioxide stream internally, while Gulf Cryo will supply the remainder to various industries across the Kingdom.