Blümel: Successful meeting with Daniel Risch, Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Liechtenstein Strong signs of cohesion in times of corona; exchange on digital tax

During his inaugural visit to Austria, Liechtenstein's Prime Minister and Finance Minister Daniel Risch and Austrian Finance Minister Gernot Blümel held a working meeting at midday on Thursday in the offices of the Austrian Ministry of Finance.

"At present, the determined battle against the virus and its economic consequences are at the forefront. Here, Austria and Liechtenstein have chosen very similar approaches. I consider having an ongoing exchange with my Liechtenstein colleague to be very important. In future too, there will need to be an open and fair partnership between our countries in order to secure prosperity and jobs," commented Finance Minister Gernot Blümel on the working visit.

"Historical, geographical and economic ties have existed between Liechtenstein and Austria for a long time, as well as an extremely friendly neighbourly relationship. For over 25 years, our two countries have been linked by the European Economic Area and over more than 40 bilateral agreements. For this reason, I am delighted that, just a few weeks after taking office, I was able to have initial discussions with Federal Minister Blümel and we were able to exchange views on the common challenges faced in connection with the Covid-19 pandemic, digital tax and our role in Europe," commented Prime Minister and Finance Minister Daniel Risch on the working meeting.

Common focus on a digital tax

Finance Minister Gernot Blümel expressed confidence that an agreement could be reached this summer in the debate over reform of the international tax system. This is being led within the framework of the OECD. The aim is to achieve fairer taxation of large corporations, above all digital companies.

So far, Austria has taken the view that a universal international solution will be the most effective. Over the coming months, dealing with this issue will be given top priority, with frequent working group meetings.

"With the digital tax, Austria has taken a step forward on its own initiative. The most recent international statements of the new US administration, as well as the strong European approval of recent days, give me optimism that a comprehensive solution can now finally be found, one which is thus fair for Austrian trade. I was able to exchange views on this issue with my colleague Mr Risch. We expect to see an agreement by the middle of the year. Corporations are profiting from the crisis, so now, of all times, they should finally also make a decent contribution, just as every other taxpayer in Austria is doing," concluded Finance Minister Blümel, summing up the discussions held on the proposed digital tax.

Photos for unrestricted use may be found at: https://bit.ly/32VPhh7