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G20 Digital Ministerial Meeting on Digital Economy held in Germany

The G20 Digital Ministerial Meeting on Digital Economy was held in Dusseldorf, Germany. Ministers responsible for the digital economy from G20 countries had participated in it.

It concluded with adaptation of declaration on ‘Shaping Digitalisation for an Interconnected World’.

Key Features of the declaration
  • It talks about the need for greater availability of affordable broadband connectivity, broader adoption of digital technologies and services improved digital skills and literacy, greater digital entrepreneurship for the digital economy to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • It includes three annex papers on ‘Digital skills in vocational education and training’, ‘A Roadmap for Digitalisation: Policies for a Digital Future’ and ‘G20 Priorities on Digital Trade’.
  • It calls for collaboration between the countries and all stakeholders, including academia and private sector and sharing of best practices forms.
  • It calls for greater support for the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) which might be constrained by their scale in adoption of digital technologies. 
Background

The ministerial conference was held according to the G20 Task Force on the digital economy established in G20 summit held in Hangzhou, China in 2016. The G20 leaders summit held at Hangzhou had proposed to collectively leverage the opportunities and address challenges of an increasingly digital world, in order to enable a dynamic and thriving digital economy to drive inclusive global growth that benefits all.

About G20

  • The Group of Twenty (G20) is the premier forum for its members’ international economic cooperation and decision-making.
  • It is deliberating forum for the governments and central bank governors from 20 major economies on economic issues and other important development challenges.
  • It was started in 1999 as a meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in the aftermath of the Southeast Asian (Tiger economies) financial crisis.
  • It was established for studying, reviewing, and promoting high-level discussion of policy issues pertaining to the promotion of international financial stability.
  • In 2008, the first G20 Leaders’ Summit was held in Washington DC, US. The group had played a key role in responding to the global financial crisis.
  • It comprises total 19 countries plus the European Union (EU), representing 85% of global GDP, 80% of international trade, 65% of world’s population.
  • Its members include Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, India, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Turkey, South Africa, UK, US and EU.

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3rd G20 Framework Working Group meeting held in Varanasi

The third edition of G20 Framework Working Group (FWG) meeting was held in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.

The two-day meeting took place under the G20 German presidency, and was co-hosted by the Union Finance Ministry and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

It was inaugurated by Shaktikanta Das, Economic Affairs Secretary and Dinesh Sharma, special secretary in the Finance ministry was head the programme.

Key Facts 
  • The two day meeting held discussions on the current global economic conjecture as well as deliberations on the policy options that countries can pursue to counter the challenges.
  • It also deliberated on the inclusive growth agenda of G20 and formulated a framework that will enable countries to help frame country specific inclusive growth policies.
  • The high-profile meeting was attended by around 100 financial and economic policy mandarins from around 19 countries of G20.
  • Officials from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, OECD, ILO, UNCTAD, European Central Bank, European Commission, Financial Stability Board and Asian Development Bank also participated in it.
Background

The first two FWG meetings under the German presidency of G20 were held at Berlin in December 2016 and at Riyadh in February 2017. The fourth and the last G20 FWG meeting under the G-20 German presidency is likely to be held in Argentina before the G20 leaders’ summit in July 2017 in Hamburg, Germany.

Note: This was the fourth occasion that India, hosted the FWG meeting since its inception in 2009.Previously, India had hosted the G20 FWG meeting in Neemrana (2012 under Mexican presidency), Goa (2014 under Australian presidency) and in Kerala (2015 under Turkish presidency).

About G20
  • The Group of Twenty (G20) is the premier forum for its members’ international economic cooperation and decision-making. It is deliberating on global economic issues and other important development challenges.
  • It comprises total 19 countries plus the European Union (EU), representing 85% of global GDP, 80% of international trade, 65% of world’s population.
  • It was started in 1999 as a meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in the aftermath of the Southeast Asian (Tiger economies) financial crisis.
  • In 2008, the first G20 Leaders’ Summit was held in Washington DC, US. The group had played a key role in responding to the global financial crisis.
  • Its members include India, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Turkey, South Africa, UK, US and EU.

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Seven new countries join BEPS agreement

Seven new countries Lithuania, Gabon, Hungary, Indonesia, Malta, Mauritius and Russia – have signed Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement for Country-by-Country Reporting (CbC MCAA).

With this, the total number of signatories has increased to 57 including India (signed in May 2015). CbC MCAA is a tax co-operation agreement to enable automatic sharing of country-by-country information.

About CbC MCAA

  • The CbC MCAA aims to boost transparency by multinational enterprises (MNEs) by allowing signatories to bilaterally and automatically exchange country-by-country reports.
  • This exchange of information is facilitated as part of Action 13 of the base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) Action Plan adopted by the OECD and G20 countries in 2013.
  • The agreement will help to ensure that tax administrations obtain better understanding of how MNEs structure their operations and also ensure that the confidentiality and appropriate use of such information is safeguarded.

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