June 04, 2021 at 07:55 pm
London—Group of Seven finance ministers are set to kick off talks on Friday, with Europeans optimistic the world’s wealthiest countries will support US-backed plans for a minimum global level of corporate tax.
British finance minister Rishi Sunak will host the meeting—which is being held in person after an easing of COVID restrictions—with counterparts from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States.
The talks will prepare the ground for a broader summit of G7 leaders in Cornwall, southwest England starting on June 11, which will be attended by US President Joe Biden on his first foreign tour since taking office in January.
According to a draft communique seen by AFP, the finance chiefs and central bankers of the world’s seven richest nations will express “strong support” and a “high level of ambition” over a global minimum corporate tax.
They then hope to reach broader agreement at a G20 finance meeting scheduled for July.
Ministers also plan to commit to “sustain policy support,” or stimulus, for “as long as necessary” to nurture economic recovery, while addressing climate change and inequalities in society, according to the document.
Furthermore, they will urge “equitable, safe, and affordable access to COVID-19 vaccines” everywhere in order to fully overcome the deadly pandemic.
And the thorny topic of the regulation of digital currencies such as bitcoin will also be on the agenda.
Biden has called for a unified minimum corporate tax rate of 15 percent in negotiations with the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and G20.
His proposal has so far won broad support from countries such as France and Germany, as well as the International Monetary Fund.
A deal on a minimum corporate tax rate is “within sight,” finance ministers from France, Germany, Italy, and non-G7 member Spain declared on Friday.
“We have a chance to get multinational businesses to pay their fair share,” France’s Bruno Le Maire, Germany’s Olaf Scholz, Italy’s Daniele Franco and Spain’s Nadia Calvino said in The Guardian newspaper.
“For more than four years, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain have been working together to create an international tax system fit for the 21st century,” added the four ministers.