DUBAI: The workshop was held in the presence of Yousuf Mohammed bin Hajar, Deputy Director of International Financial Relations Department at MoF, and more than 60 representatives from the MENA region, and related local and federal entities.
Yousuf Mohammed bin Hajar welcomed the attendees and highlighted the importance of their participation in the training workshop on international avoidance of taxes and tax agreements. He also commended the strong cooperation which connects the UAE with OECD in tax areas.
In this regard, HE Younis Haji Al Khoori, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Finance said that this workshop is part of a regional cooperation initiative to provide a series of workshops on international taxes topics. MoF and OECD signed the memorandum of understanding for a fourth period 2016-2018, which provides technical assistance in relation to tax agreements and other matters related to international taxes in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, while keeping the countries of the region informed and up-to-date on the developments in tax policies and the best practices on this matter.
Al Khoori praised the economic and trade relations between the UAE and the countries of the region, where MoF adheres to consistently promote all areas of common interest. “The Ministry of Finance’s strategy has been effective in negotiating agreements on the avoidance of double taxation on income, where 113 agreements were signed, including the country’s trading partners. The Ministry achieves economic balance with these countries by exempting or reducing taxes on sovereign investment funds, private sector institutions and national airlines operating internationally,” said Al Khoori.
G20 had entrusted OECD with the task of finding a process to transfer benefits and develop possible solutions, and finding a process for proper implementation of the principles of international taxation and tax treaties. The workshop programme was addressed a number of significant tax issues, including the multilateral convention to implement tax treaty related measures to prevent base erosion and profit shifting, and the latest developments on the agreements on avoidance of double taxation on income. Participants also discussed cross border taxation and digital transactions options to treat it, as well as a multilateral procedure in tax treaties.
Al Khoori stressed the Ministry’s commitment to strengthen the country’s participation and representation in international and regional organisations, such as OECD in areas of financial and tax policies. “OECD recognises the UAE’s leading role in the MENA region in terms of building an efficient tax network. The Ministry’s partnership with the organisation falls in line with the Government’s strategy to highlight the country’s positive role in the global arena, raise its ranking in global indicators,” said Al Khoori.
UAE is considered a hub for regional dialogue, following a MoU with OECD in 2007, with an aim to bridge a knowledge gap in areas of tax treaties, through special training programmes and workshops.
The Ministry has the responsibility to represent the country at OECD meeting in areas of tax and financial policies, as per the UAE Cabinet Resolution No. (227/19) for the year 2006. The UAE continues to work alongside countries in the MENA region to share experiences, through developing an effective tax network in the region in cooperation with OECD, creating regional dialogue on tax related issues, as well as finding the right channels of communication.