G7 finance ministers meet in France to bridge gap on digital tax
PARIS, July 17 (Xinhua) -- France on Wednesday is hosting a two-day meeting of finance ministers of G7 governments in northern town of Chantilly, hoping to bridge gap on digital tax and get broader support for minimum corporate taxation to shift to fairer and more sustainable capitalism.
"I am deeply convinced that during this G7 we will be able to find a satisfactory international solution and that a consensus at the G7 will pave the way for a solution at the level of the OECD," he stressed.
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire (R) and Governor of the Bank of France Francois Villeroy de Galhau attend a press conference at the end of the G7 Finance meeting in Chantilly, France, July 18, 2019. France on Wednesday is hosting a two-day meeting of finance ministers of G7 governments in northern town of Chantilly, hoping to bridge gap on digital tax and get broader support for minimum corporate taxation to shift to fairer and more sustainable capitalism. (Xinhua/Jiang Hua)
Although a dispute with the United States over a tax on the world's top digital companies, France is seeking, during the two-day talks, to find common ground on the issue.
On the agenda, ministers are also due to overhaul international tax rules via the implementation of a minimum corporate taxation which according to Le Maire "is the only way to fight effectively against tax evasion that making our compatriots revolting."
Last week, the French Parliament adopted, by a final vote of the Senate, the introduction of a tax on the world's top digital companies with global annual sales of more than 7400 million euros (about 841 million U.S. dollars) and sales in France of at least 25 million euros.
"The capitalism that exists today is out of breath. We want a capitalism which is fairer, more respectful of the sources of the planet and more sustainable. This is our ambition in the G7 finance ministers meeting," Le Maire said in a video posted on his Twitter account.
As France is placing its G7 presidency as a fight against inequality, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, invited his counterparts from Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada to discuss how "to rebuild capitalism".
"We can no longer have an international tax system based on the economic model of the 20th century, without taking into account the fact that huge companies create value by selling data without being taxed at the same level as small and medium enterprises..." Le Maire said during a meeting in France Central Bank headquarters on Tuesday.
That has made France one of the first countries to impose a tax on digital giants such as Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon, defying Washington's threat to launch a probe that could lead to higher tariffs on French imports if the two sides fail to reach a settlement.
Along with the outgoing European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and representatives of the major international organizations (World Bank, European Commission and Eurogroup, IMF and OECD), they will also discuss how to make finances more environmental and improve cyber security in the financial sector.
"G7 finance ministers is an important step because our compatriots are telling us that we need to change the economic model to have a more responsible capitalism," he added.