GCC uniform deal on VAT, selective tax a step closer

The agreements shall be discussed within the framework of the GCC financial and economic committee

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The Council of Ministers on Monday authorized Saudi Arabia’s minister of finance or his deputy to discuss two draft uniform agreements on value added tax (VAT) and selective tax for Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states.

Saudi King Salman chaired the weekly session of the Cabinet at Al-Yamama Palace in Riyadh.

According to the Saudi Press Agency, the agreements shall be discussed within the framework of the GCC financial and economic committee, and sign them before forwarding the final versions to complete the legal procedures.

In a statement to SPA, Minister of Commerce and Investment and Acting Minister of Culture and Information Dr. Majed Al-Qasabi said that the Council also authorized president of King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy or his deputy to discuss with the Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy a draft agreement for cooperation in the renewable energy between the city and the ministry, and sign it before forwarding the final version to complete the legal procedures.

Al-Qasabi said the Council approved signing of agreement with Venezuela to avoid double taxation and tax evasion.

The Cabinet lauded the outcome of the Gulf Shield 1 Exercise, conducted by the Eastern Fleet of the Saudi Royal Naval Forces in the Arabian Gulf and Oman Sea waters across the Strait of Hormuz, as well as the joint aerial drill called Al-Jazeerah Eagle in the United Arab Emirates with the participation of air forces of the GCC member states.

The Council commended the enhanced cooperation and upgrading of the combating and operational preparedness of the GCC forces that have been achieved through the exercise.

With regard to the Kingdom’s participation in the annual joint meetings of the World Bank and the IMF and the meeting of the G20 which were held in Washington, Al-Qasabi said, the Cabinet highlighted the government’s efforts in implementing economic reforms as part of the National Transformation Program to achieve the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

The Council underscored that the application of these reforms would yield a strong, balanced and sustainable economic growth and activate the role of the private sector in enhancing job opportunities and spurring economic growth.

The Cabinet reiterated the legitimate right of the countries in the Middle East region for the peaceful use of nuclear energy in accordance with the standards of the International Agency for Atomic Energy, besides highlighting the importance of implementing the agreement on barring the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

The Council also reaffirmed the position of Arab countries to stand by the side of the Syrian people and exert all possible efforts at the international level to provide safe havens to deliver relief supplies for civilians and demanding the international community to break its silence towards the crimes committed by the Syrian regime.

Al-Qasabi said the Cabinet was briefed on a number of domestic matters, including the agreement signed by the Ministry of Housing to construct more than 10,000 residential units in Tarout and Safwa towns in Qatif region in the Eastern Province, and signing of the memorandum of understanding with Bulgaria in the fields of tourism and heritage.

This article was first published by the Saudi Gazette on October 11, 2016.

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