Fiji Current Affairs - 2019

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‘Namaste Pacific’ Cultural Event held in New Delhi

A cultural event called ‘Namaste Pacific’ to showcase in India the culture of Pacific countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Fiji was held in New Delhi. The event was jointly organized by High Commissions of Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and Fiji.

Key Highlights of Event

Participants: Event saw participation of members of diplomatic community, government officials, business leaders, and cultural personalities.

International Solar Alliance and Pollinate Energy based in India, Nepal, and Australia and solar lanterns from Barefoot College in Rajasthan were also showcased at event.

Cuisine: Among the cuisine showcased at the event, a curated menu included Fiji’s national drink ‘Kava’ and dishes slow-cooked in an earth oven using heated rocks in a pit oven specially dug for purpose at New Zealand High Commission.

Traditional masks and artefacts from Papua New Guinea as well as Pacific Green furniture and other products from Fiji were also displayed.

Artist: A multi-award-winning R&B and soul artist from New Zealand named Aaradhna, performed with her band. She is part Indian and part Samoan and has to her credit four individual albums.

Significance

Cultural events hold importance as they encourage people to people links between India and countries in Pacific region which receive a boost through an event like Namaste Pacific.

Why India? India being highly respected among pacific country and as it is becoming an important country in Pacific region, it is appropriate to celebrate Pacific culture in India. Such event is an example of things that unite the countries of Indo-Pacific.

EU Adds 10 Countries to Tax Blacklist

The European Union has expanded its tax haven blacklist by including 10 countries. The list now has 15 countries. The list was first drawn up by EU in 2017 in the wake of several scandals, including the Panama Papers and LuxLeaks, that pushed the EU into doing more to fight tax evasion by multinationals and the rich.

Expansion of the List

  • Seven countries Aruba, Belize, Bermuda, Fiji, Oman, Vanuatu and Dominica were moved from greylist to blacklist due to their inability towards reform commitments.
  • Three other countries added into the list are Barbados, the United Arab Emirates and the Marshall Islands.

EU list of Tax Blacklist or Tax Havens

Tax Havens provide taxpayers with opportunities for tax avoidance, while their secrecy and opacity also serve to hide the origin of the proceeds of illegal and criminal activities. Features of these Tax Havens include low or zero taxation, fictitious residences (with no bearing on reality) and tax secrecy.

EU initiated the naming and shaming tactics through Tax blacklist or Tax havens as a tool for securing a level playing field and as an external strategy for effective taxation by assessing, screening and listing third-country tax jurisdictions which are non-cooperative in tax matters.