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WCO announces safety certification program training session on March 20

BRUSSELS: The Wisconsin Custom Operators is organizing its inaugural Safety Certification Program training session this spring. Custom farmers from across the state are being invited to Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton on March 20. The purpose of the program is to train WCO members and their employees in occupational safety and health in order to reduce incident rates. Participants ... Read More »

EU breaks cross-border gang for cheating member countries of 150m euros in tax revenue

BRUSSELS: European Union officials said they broke up a cross-border gang responsible for cheating EU member countries of 150 million euros ($168 million) in tax rvenue. Europol and Eurojust, the EU agencies for law enforcement and criminal prosecution, said nine people were arrested Tuesday in a fast-moving operation that kicked off early in the morning. Those arrested are suspected of ... Read More »

European Commission opens formal investigation into tax ruling practices in Belgium

BRUSSELS: EC announced that it has opened a formal investigation into tax ruling practices in Belgium. This case is looking at rulings which allow multinational entities in Belgium to reduce their corporate tax liability by “excess profits” that allegedly result from the advantage of being part of a multinational group. The concern is that this is selective and therefore gives ... Read More »

Belgium NBB business confidence climate to rise to -7.8 in last quarter

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

Belgium economy expands 0.2% in 4Q, up 1% year-on-year basis

BRUSSELS: Belgium’s economy eked out its seventh straight quarter of growth in the final three months of 2014, with the economy expanding 0.2% from the previous quarter, according to the central bank’s revised estimate. The economy grew 1.0% in the fourth quarter compared with a year earlier. Read More »

Belgium business confidence rises for first time in 3 months in February

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 »

ROCBs, RTCs meeting held at WCO to address capacity building needs

BRUSSELS: Prior to the 6th Capacity Building Committee and the 14th Integrity Sub-Committee, representatives from the Regional Offices for Capacity Building (ROCBs), the Regional Training Centres (RTCs) and the Vice Chairs’ offices met in Brussels for the 10th Global Meeting of the Heads of ROCBs, RTCs and Vice Chairs’ Offices. The main aim was to discuss how the WCO Secretariat ... Read More »

WCO Secretary General welcomes Panama Ambassador Minister of Commerce & Industries

BRUSSELS: Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya welcomed Mr. Meliton Arrocha, Panama’s Minister of Commerce and Industries, and H.E. Mr. Dario Chiru, Panama’s Ambassador in Belgium, to the WCO. A range of issues of mutual interest were discussed, including regional integration, in respect of which Mr. Mikuriya emphasized the key role that Customs played in implementing global standards to ensure connectivity. Also ... Read More »

European Commission launches infringement procedure against Hungry for not complying with regulations

BRUSSELS: The European Commission has launched an infringement procedure against Hungary on charges that the country’s energy regulations fail to comply with European Union regulations, the EC’s spokesperson for climate and energy policy Anna-Kais Itkonen told Hungarian news agency MTI. The spokesperson said that the European Commission is reviewing all the EU member states to determine whether they comply with ... Read More »

EU Bank for Reconstruction to lend Tunisia $223.5m for energy, industry projects this year

BRUSSELS: The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will lend Tunisia $223.5 million this year to finance energy and industry projects, state news agency TAP said. Four years after toppling its autocrat leader Zine al-Abidine Ben Aliand, and inspiring Arab Spring uprisings in North Africa, Tunisia is widely praised as a model for the region, having held free elections ... Read More »

Belgium’s Vermeiren Group NV’s facility at Sri City SEZ to attract Rs50 crore investment

BRUSSELS: Vermeiren India Rehab Private Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Belgium-based Vermeiren Group NV, held the ground-breaking for its facility at Sri City SEZ in Andhra Pradesh. The facility, coming up on a nine acre plot, will attract an investment of Rs 50 crore in Phase I. The plant is expected to be ready by the end of this year ... Read More »

Belgium Proximus TV shows strong growth with 1,593,000 customers

BERLIN: Proximus TV (Belgacom) ended the year 2014 with 1,593,000 customers, an increase of 128,000 (+8.7%). The number of fixed internet customers also grew to 1,740,000, a rise of 63,000 (3.8%) and the number of 4-play households growing by 14.3% compared to end 2013. The company improved its market share for Mobile (+0.2%), fixed internet(+0.3%) and digital TV (+0.9%) compared ... Read More »

Anheuser-Busch InBev NV plans to buy back $1b of shares after 4Q earnings missed estimates

BRUSSELS: Anheuser-Busch InBev NV plans to buy back $1 billion of shares after fourth-quarter earnings missed estimates as the world’s biggest brewer spent more on marketing to counter weak US consumption. AB InBev will repurchase the shares this year, the Leuven, Belgium-based maker of Budweiser, Brahma and Corona said Thursday in a statement. Earnings before interest, taxes, amortization and depreciation, ... Read More »

Euro zone finance ministers agree to extension of Greece’s EU/IMF bailout program

DUBLIN: Euro zone finance ministers agreed to a four-month extension of Greece’s EU/IMF bailout program, subject to its economic plans being approved in detail with discussions set to start immediately on filling the state’s funding gap. One long-term option Athens has suggested is swapping debt held by its euro zone creditors for bonds with payments linked to economic growth, a ... Read More »

EU gives ultimatum to France to bring budget deficit back into line with Brussels rules

PARIS: The EU gave France until 2017 to bring its budget deficit back into line with Brussels’ rules, meaning the eurozone’s second-biggest economy will avoid a fine for now. The European Commission said, however, that France must present it with a reform plan on how it intends to get its finances back in order by April. “Today we have decided ... Read More »

IMF asks Belgium to introduce labor tax reforms to generate extra revenue

BRUSSELS: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said there is a net decrease in Belgium’s labor taxes, but more tax reforms can generate extra revenue. In a statement following an IMF mission to the country, the body identified scope for reform in the taxation of income from capital, as well as in the areas of property taxes, VAT and environmental taxes. ... Read More »

EU parliamentary committee to look into advance tax ruling practices

BRUSSELS: Members of the European Parliament voted in favor of establishing a special parliamentary committee to look into the advance tax ruling practices, and other similar measures, of European Union member states. The committee is being set up in the wake of a series of investigations launched by the European Commission into tax rulings for multinational corporations by the tax ... Read More »

European Commission seeks fairer, transparent approach to corporate tax

BRUSSELS: European Commission has decided upon a list of tax reform priorities to lay “the foundation for a fairer and more transparent approach to taxation in EU,” focusing on the taxation of companies. At a recently concluded orientation debate on the issue, the European Commissioners from the 28 member states agreed that the Commission’s work should focus on ensuring that ... Read More »

Brussels launches in-depth probe into GE partial takeovertie of French industrial champion Alstom

BRUSSELS: Brussels has launched in-depth probe into GE’s partial takeover of French industrial champion Alstom, in a signal that antitrust issues over power equipment may further complicate a $16.9bn deal already heavily influenced by politics. High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. The European ... Read More »

CBRE to divest 10 shopping malls in France, Belgium to raise $1.4 billion

BRUSSELS: Los Angeles-based commercial real estate services company intends to divest 10 shopping malls in France and Belgium, as per a report by the French daily newspaper, Le Figaro. CBRE is expected to raise $1.4 billion (1.2 billion euros) through this divestiture. The real estate fund, for which CBRE was operating the malls, is slated to mature in 2015 and ... Read More »