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Belgian Inheritance Code prescribes annual tax on collective investment vehicles

BRUSSELS: Since July 1993, the Belgian Inheritance Code has prescribed an annual tax on collective investment vehicles (“CIV”). The rate prescribed for foreign CIV is 0.0925%. However, article 161 ter, 5° of the Code prescribes a reduced taxation rate of 0.01% for Belgian CIV “to the extent that the financial resources of the funds, one or more of its compartments ... Read More »

EU re-evaluating Sri Lanka’s request to grant GSP+ concession

BRUSSELS: Expressing deep appreciation over the new government’s policies on improving human rights and strengthening democratic institutions, European Union Ambassador to Sri Lanka David Daly said the EU is seriously reevaluating the Sri Lanka’s request to grant the GSP+ concession once again for Sri Lanka exports to EU and to lift the restrictions imposed on export of fish products. Mr ... Read More »

Zimbabwe registers $153 million increase in exports to EU

BRUSSELS: Zimbabwe has registered a nearly five-fold increase in exports to the European Union to $153 million, latest trade figures from the International Trade Centre have shown. The boost has been helped by diamond exports to Belgium and reengagement efforts between Harare and Brussels. While the country continuing to have a trade deficit with the EU, imports on the other ... Read More »

Dr Reddy Laboratories buying Belgium pharma company UCB for Rs 800 crore

BRUSSELS: Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, India’s second largest drugmaker by sales, has announced entering into a definitive agreement to acquire a select portfolio of Belgium based pharmaceutical firm UCB in India for Rs 800 crore. According to a report filed by the Ecoinomic Times, UCB, listed on Euronext Brussels, has operations in nearly 40 countries with revenues of 3.3 billion Euros ... Read More »

European Union antitrust regulators seeks McDonald tax deals from Luxembourg

BRUSSELS: European Union antitrust regulators have asked Luxembourg for information on its tax rulings for McDonald’s after labor unions accused the U.S. fast food chain of avoiding taxes, a person involved in the issue said. The move, which neither the EU nor Luxembourg would immediately confirm, falls well short of the proceedings the EU has instigated against other U.S. multinationals ... Read More »

Orange Business Services secures enterprise mobility of Belgium foreign affairs

BRUSSELS: Orange Business Services said it’s securing the enterprise mobility of Belgium Federal Public Service of Foreign Affairs to support Belgian citizens through 132 embassies worldwide. The IT deal with Orange Business Services will enable 3,000 employees of the Belgium Federal Public Service of Foreign Affairs to drive the increasing use of mobile devices and access government resources, while securing ... Read More »

DP World to facilitate Port of Antwerp’s development with open access container terminal

BRUSSELS: In a bid to boost business growth for the Port of Antwerp, global terminal operator DP World is helping to facilitate the port’s development with a new open access container terminal, which will be built alongside the Albert Canal in Grobbendonk. The partnership between the Port Authority and DP World to set up an open access container terminal alongside ... Read More »

Zimmer Holding Inc secures approval in EU for $13b Biomet Inc acquisition

BRUSSELS: Zimmer Holdings Inc. secured approval in the European Union for its $13 billion acquisition of fellow orthopedic-device maker Biomet Inc. after agreeing to sell three businesses in Europe to assuage antitrust concerns. Zimmer Holdings agreed in April last year to buy Biomet for about $13.4 billion, in a bid to position the combined company as a leader in making ... Read More »

Zimmer Holding Inc secures approval in EU for $13b Biomet Inc acquisition

BRUSSELS: Zimmer Holdings Inc. secured approval in the European Union for its $13 billion acquisition of fellow orthopedic-device maker Biomet Inc. after agreeing to sell three businesses in Europe to assuage antitrust concerns. Zimmer Holdings agreed in April last year to buy Biomet for about $13.4 billion, in a bid to position the combined company as a leader in making ... Read More »

Belgium firm Aertssen awarded $65m Hamad port project

BRUSSELS: Gulf Earth Moving, a Qatar-based subsidiary of the Belgian group Aertssen, have been awarded a US $65.6-million contract by the New Port Project Steering Committee (NPPSC) for 3-million square metres of extra terrain to be created for the New Qatar Emiri Naval Base at the Hamad Port. The contract signing ceremony was held in the presence of Jassim Seif ... Read More »

EU single digital market strategy to improve networks and create European digital economy

BRUSSELS: The European Commission has highlighted the three main areas of focus in its digital single market strategy, including improving EU digital networks and creating a European digital economy. Barriers such as geo-blocking, lack of cross-border delivery initiatives and other technical issues currently prevent many citizens from using cross-border digital services, such as online shopping or sharing digital goods. The ... Read More »

EU moves to step up crackdown on corporate tax evasion

BRUSSELS: The European Commission has moved to step up its crackdown on corporate tax evasion by unveiling a plan to force all 28 EU countries to share details of tax rulings they grant to multinationals, a requirement Brussels believes will curtail efforts by some governments to lure companies by offering cut-rate tax bills. Under the proposal, national tax authorities would ... Read More »

European Commission challenges Belgium’s tax rules on cross-border dividends

BRUSSELS: The European Commission has asked Belgium to bring its rules on the taxation of dividends into line with the Parent-Subsidy Directive. The Directive, adopted in 2011, aims to ensure that profits made by multinationals are not taxed twice. To achieve this, European Union (EU) member states must exempt from taxation any profits that parent companies receive from their subsidiaries ... Read More »

Belgium NBB business climate rises to 8.3 from 8.8% in last quarter

BRUSSELS: Confidence among Belgium business leaders rose less-than-expected in the last quarter, official data showed. In a report, National Bank of Belgium said that Belgium NBB Business Climate rose to -8.3, from -8.8 in the preceding quarter. Analysts had expected Belgium NBB Business Climate to rise to -7.8 in the last quarter. Read More »

European Commission plans to clamp down on sweetheart tax deals between govts & multinationals

BRUSSELS: The European Commission has laid out plans to clamp down on so-called sweetheart tax deals between governments and multinationals. The Tax Transparency Package proposes that European governments automatically exchange details of tax rulings to try to tackle “aggressive tax planning”. Each country would have to declare all its tax rulings every three months. The move comes during ongoing investigations ... Read More »

Business output in eurozone rises to 54.1 from 53.3, remains highest in 46 months

BRUSSELS: Business output in the eurozone grew at its fastest rate in nearly four years in March, a closely watched survey suggests. The CIPS/Markit composite purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rose to 54.1, compared with 53.3 a month earlier – it’s highest level in 46 months. Any reading above 50 indicates growth while a reading below 50 points to a fall ... Read More »

Qatar Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim, Belgium Minister sign pacts to bolster trade ties

BRUSSELS: Fresh efforts at bolstering economic and trade relations between Belgium and Qatar kicked-off on a high note as Belgium’s Princess Astrid, representative of the King of Belgium, met Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Prime Minister and Interior Minister H E Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani and other ministers. Princess Astrid also held talks with ... Read More »

Belgium business confidence rises to -8.3 from January’s -8.8

BRUSSELS: Belgium’s business confidence rose for the first time in three months in February, but the pace of improvement was less-than-expected, survey data from the National Bank of Belgium showed Tuesday. The business confidence indicator climbed to -8.3 from January’s -8.8. Economists, however, had forecast a stronger score of -7.8. Improved demand prospects boosted confidence among manufacturers, business services firms ... Read More »

Turkey, EU launch high-level energy dialogue, strategic cooperation

ANKARA: A high-level energy dialogue and strategic energy cooperation process has been launched between Turkey and the European Union, both sides announced in a joint statement. Turkey is a natural energy bridge and an energy hub between energy sources in the Middle Eastern and Caspian Regions and European Union energy markets. Turkey’s development as an energy hub will be to ... Read More »

EU carbon market emissions fall 3.7% in 2014

BRUSSELS: Emissions capped by Europe’s carbon market fell 3.7 percent in 2014, driven by higher output from renewable power producers and lower electricity consumption, analysts at Thomson Reuters Point Carbon said. Firms covered by Europe’s Emissions Trading System (ETS) emitted 1.838 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) in 2014 compared with 1.907 billion tonnes a year earlier, the analysts ... Read More »