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Brazil: No joint statement at G20 finance chiefs meeting amid Russia-Ukraine, Hamas-Israel conflicts

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Others | March 1, 2024 1:55:39 PM IST
Sao Paulo (Brazil), March 1 (ANI) A meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors from the Group of 20 advanced and emerging economies came to an end without issuing a joint closing statement after their meetings in Sao Paulo.

Amid disagreements over Russia's war in Ukraine and the Hamas-Israel conflict, Brazil, which is the current G20 president, issued a chair's summary after two days of talks, mentioning in a footnote that the finance forum is not the appropriate place to discuss geopolitical issues, Kyodo News reported.

The city of Sao Paulo hosted the ministerial meeting of the Finance Track, under the coordination of the Brazil Minister of Finance, Fernando Haddad, on February 28-29.

"More than a few countries strongly condemned Russia's invasion and the terror attack by Hamas (on Israel), and expressed concern about the alarming humanitarian crisis in Gaza," Japan's Masato Kanda, vice finance minister for international affairs, told a press conference according to Kyodo News.

The G20 finance ministers and central bank governors shared the view that the global economy is headed for a "soft landing," meaning that a recession will likely be avoided, Kanda was cited as saying.

The three overarching priorities proposed by the Brazilian Presidency to the G20 in 2024 are: -social inclusion and the fight against hunger and poverty; energy transitions and sustainable development; and the reform of global governance institutions.

Meanwhile, during the finance chiefs' meeting, Brazilian Finance Minister Fernando Haddad called for more equitable taxation targeting the super-rich.

In his speech at the opening of the second day of the G20 Finance Ministers' meeting on Thursday, Haddad highlighted the need for joint action to address fiscal disparities, calling on member countries and international organisations to unite efforts for a fairer and more sustainable tax system.

Haddad presented data from the EU Tax Observatory, revealing that the world's billionaires pay an effective tax rate equivalent to between 0 and 0.5 per cent of their wealth.

"I wonder how we, as Finance Ministers, allow a situation like this to persist. If we act together, we have the capacity to make these few individuals contribute to our societies and the sustainable development of the planet. I see no contradiction between the different international taxation agendas we are bringing to the table," the Brazil Finance Minister said.

"However, effective solutions for the super-rich to make their fair tax contribution depend on international cooperation," Haddad said.

In his speech at the G20 meeting, Haddad called on the United Nations and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to combine legitimacy, technical capacity, and political strength to "continue advancing our international tax cooperation and reducing opportunities for a small number of billionaires to exploit loopholes in our system to avoid their fair contribution."

The G20 discusses this issue within the framework of the International Taxation Working Group, which focuses on increasing the efficiency of tax systems to reduce inequalities. Formally, the International Taxation Agenda does not constitute a working group.

The subsidies and formulations developed among member countries are debated and decided directly by government representatives in high-level discussions, such as during the G20 Finance Ministers' meeting.

The G20 grouping consists of the Group of Seven -- Britain, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, the United States and the European Union -- along with Brazil, Russia, China, India and Saudi Arabia among others. (ANI)

 
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