A day before adoption of communique, differences seem to be visible among members over the wording related with condemnation of Ukraine-Russia war. France on Friday pressed for no ‘step back’ from G20 Bali leaders’ declaration.

“We will oppose any step back from declaration of the leaders in Bali. We strongly condemn this illegal and brutal attack against Ukraine, and we don’t want any step back,” Bruno Le Maire, French Minister of Economy, Finance and Digital and Industrial Sovereignty, said here in a press conference. This statement has come at a time, when Russia-Ukraine war is entering one year and still there is no sign of any end. On Thursday, US Treasury Secretary Janet L Yellen vowed for more sanctions against Russia.

Bali declaration

G20 Bali leaders’ declaration issued on November 16, 2022 noted that the war in Ukraine further adversely impact the global economy. Leaders during discussion reiterated their national positions as expressed in other fora, including the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly, where a resolution deplored in the strongest terms the aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine and demands its complete and unconditional withdrawal from the territory of Ukraine.

“Most members strongly condemned the war in Ukraine and stressed it is causing immense human suffering and exacerbating existing fragilities in the global economy - constraining growth, increasing inflation, disrupting supply chains, heightening energy and food insecurity, and elevating financial stability risks. There were other views and different assessments of the situation and sanctions. Recognising that the G20 is not the forum to resolve security issues, we acknowledge that security issues can have significant consequences for the global economy,” the declaration had said.

Now, the indications are the more and more member countries of G20 pressing for reiteration of same strong sentiment. There is also thinking how Finance Ministers can change what their leaders adopted some months back. Although India closeness with Russia is well known, France is hopeful that India in Chair will act in most prudent manner. “Once again, I fully trust India because India is in driving seat. It is playing key role and it is in the best position to have this strong communique that we all are waiting for,” Maire said.

On taxation system

Talking about other key issue, French Minister called for speedy implementation of new global minimum taxation system.

“The implementation of Tier II minimum taxation and competition of negotiation of Tier I Digital Taxation should be decided without any delay,” he said.

As of October 2021, over 135 countries and jurisdictions have joined the two- pillar solution to reform international taxation rules and ensure that multinational enterprises pay a fair share of tax wherever they operate. Pillar One will ensure a fairer distribution of profits and taxing rights among countries with respect to the largest MNEs, including digital companies. Pillar Two seeks to put a floor on competition over corporate income tax, through the introduction of a global minimum corporate tax rate that countries can use to protect their tax bases. 

Maire also called for resolving debt issue for developing nation. “To address this concern, there is common framework which proved to be very efficient. So, it is no time to improve the common framework, it is time to implement the common framework,” he said.