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Qatar University launched Second Conference on Fiscal Policies and Sustainable Development | Qatar University

Qatar University launched Second Conference on Fiscal Policies and Sustainable Development

2022-09-20 00:00:00.0
officials at the Second Conference on Fiscal Policies and Sustainable Development

International Tax Reform and Its Impact on GCC Countries

The activities of the “Second Conference on Fiscal Policies and Sustainable Development” were launched today, organized by The College of Business and Economics at Qatar University (QU) in cooperation with the Qatar Financial Center, University of New South Wales (Australia) and Queensland University of Technology (Australia).
A large number of experts and decision-makers in the economic field from inside and outside Qatar joined the conference. The conference featured discussion of important economic issues such as the topics of "the global minimum tax and its impact on the international flow of capital, the global minimum tax and its reflection on tax policy in the Gulf countries, the problems of tax implementation." On value added from an international perspective, tax reform and value added tax in the Gulf countries, discussion of future plans for the project to measure the burden of tax compliance, and other topics related to this important topic.

In his speech on the occasion, Dr. Hassan bin Rashid Al-Derham, President of Qatar University, said that We will discuss ‘international tax reform and its impact on the Gulf countries’ in the second session of the "Fiscal Policies and Sustainable Development" Conference 2022 this year. This session will discuss the developments that have occurred in the field of international tax reform, which included adopting international standards for enforcing taxes and combating international tax evasion, which will be very important for Qatar and the countries of the region.
The President of the University directed to the partners in organizing this conference for their cooperation with us in organizing this conference, which are the Qatar Financial Center, the University of New South Wales (Australia) and the Queensland University of Technology (Australia).

Dr. Al-Derham said: “The fact that Qatar University is present at this conference demonstrates the university's interest in discussing global economic and financial developments that have an impact on the country's economy, business activity, and capital inflows, and then coming to conclusions and making recommendations that will help the decision-maker.”

This is in line with Qatar University's strategy 2018-2023, which focuses on increasing community communication and serving community issues by highlighting them and encouraging researchers to conduct scientific research that examines and analyzes the real problems of society and provides practical recommendations.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are endowed by oil and gas, which makes their economies heavily reliant on them as a main source of government revenue. Further, the oil and gas sector is considered as a key economic player that contributes the bulk of GDP. Thus, the fluctuation of oil and gas prices makes GCC economies vulnerable to economic instability. In order to minimize reliance on the oil and gas sector and to stabilize economies, GCC countries are diversifying their economies away from oil and gas to other sources of government revenue.

Economic diversification has been the main strategy of the GCC economic development plans, reflected in developing plans to increase the contribution of the non-hydrocarbon sector, implementing specific programs to spur growth in specific sectors, and the granting specific tax and non-tax incentives to encourage private sector and attracting foreign direct investment. The economic diversification policies focus on specific sectors such as financial sector, manufacturing, tourism and hospitability, and sports through encouraging private investment and FDI. In doing so, GCC countries are endeavoring to encourage FDI through developing friendly business environment and granting various incentives. Tax incentives are the most common type of government incentives, which generally grant tax holidays to FDI investment whether inshore or offshore investment.

The recent development in international taxation led by the OECD with regard to harmful tax competition under Action 5 and the guidelines of global minimum tax under Pillar 2, have raised challenges to the sustainability of granting tax incentives to attract FDI in developing countries in general and GCC countries in particular. This, in turn, increases the pressure on GCC countries to reform their tax policies in order to align with international tax norms and practices.

GCC government initiatives to diversify government revenue has been reflected in a unified Value Added Tax Framework in 2017, which resulted in the introduction of VAT in Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates in 2018 and then in Bahrain and Oman. Kuwait and Qatar are planning to introduce VAT in the near future.

This conference aims to achieve the following: (1) discuss the impact of international tax reforms in GCC, (2) propose recommendations on the best practices for tax reform in GCC, and (3) bridge the gap between tax researchers and policy makers in GCC to support tax reform initiatives therein.

Accordingly, the conference will discuss:

• Tax reform in GCC and global minimum tax
• Tax reform in GCC and introduction of VAT
• Tax reform in GCC and tax compliance challenges

In his speech at the conference, Mr. Yousuf Mohamed Al-Jaida, CEO of the Qatar Financial Center said: “It is a great honor for us to host this conference today in cooperation with our esteemed partners, Qatar University, and I would like to thank Dr. Hassan Al-Derham personally for his motivating opening speech in which he presented insights. He was a valuable expert on the ongoing global tax reforms, and expressed his happiness with the wide international participation that the conference attracted.

Al-Jaida added: "Today, we will listen to interventions from representatives of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, as the international body responsible for setting international tax rules, government officials, academics at prestigious international universities, and professionals specialized in the field of tax systems locally and globally.

Our conference will address the main challenges facing tax authorities and taxpayers when it comes to implementing VAT.

At the international level, the Qatar Financial Center and the State of Qatar have always emphasized their support for the existence of advanced international tax systems. I am pleased to say here that the State of Qatar has achieved impressive success in applying all international tax standards, according to the various assessments and reviews conducted under the supervision of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The CEO of the QFC stressed that the commitment to applying international tax standards did not affect the attractiveness of the QFC tax system, whether regionally or globally. We continue to offer the best tax benefits and incentives to encourage foreign direct investment.

He stressed that the attractiveness of the QFC tax system lies not only in its tax advantages and incentives, but also in its transparent, fair and efficient administrative framework. He also stressed that the QFC tax system provides clear and transparent regulations and administrative procedures to more than 1,500 international financial companies and other service companies registered on its business platform.

In her speech at the conference, Dr. Rana Sobh, Dean of The College of Business and Economics said: " In addition to the difficulties brought on by the Corona epidemic, environmental issues, and sustainability issues, she continued, there have been significant changes in recent years in the global economies as a result of technology advancements and the growth in digital transformation. In order to prevent the eroding of tax bases and restrict profit transfers, these trends were mirrored in international financial and tax policies, which advocated for the formation of global norms.”

She added that this conference reflects the college's efforts in serving society and the national economy, and its keenness to discuss and discuss international financial and tax issues that may be reflected on the economy in general and on local and foreign investment in particular. The conference is also part of the college's efforts to conduct applied research and maximizes its impact on the business environment and society locally and regionally. In this context, the college’s research projects in the field of financial and tax policies focus on the importance of reforming tax systems in the Gulf countries in order to achieve a number of goals, including (1) ensuring the sustainability of government revenues and thus contributing to achieving sustainable development, (2) encouraging foreign investment With the reduction of international tax evasion, and (3) the use of tax incentives to preserve the environment and achieve sustainability, (4) propose financial tools to reduce business activities harmful to the economy and the environment.

The Dean of the College explained that this conference is in line with the College’s efforts to increase students’ awareness of financial and tax issues, by offering academic programs that meet the needs of the labor market.

Related Files
  • Dr. Hassan during his opening speech at Second Conference on Fiscal Policies and Sustainable Development
  • QU officials at Second Conference on Fiscal Policies and Sustainable Development