BUSINESS

Brexit’s shadow: India vows to deepen ties

Stronger bond:U.K.’s Philip Hammond (R) and Arun Jaitley agree to work on aiding investment.Reuters

Stronger bond:U.K.’s Philip Hammond (R) and Arun Jaitley agree to work on aiding investment.Reuters  

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond discussed the post-Brexit scenario on Tuesday and issued a joint statement reiterating the two countries’ commitment to strengthen economic cooperation and collaborate on cross-border tax evasion and avoidance.

‘Masala,’ ‘green’ bonds

The two Finance Ministers also welcomed the National Highways Authority of India’s proposal to issue a masala bond in London in the next few months, and also welcomed IREDA’s plans to issue a green bond in London and list their masala bonds on the London Stock Exchange within six months.

This follows the successful issuances by HDFC (Rs. 3,000 crore or £366 million) and NTPC (Rs. 2,000 crore or £244 million), which were the first ever masala bonds to be issued by Indian entities.

“At today’s meeting we discussed how, notwithstanding the U.K.’s triggering of Article 50, India and the U.K. can work together to: strengthen our existing economic partnership in order to further boost trade and investment and; build on the bold vision for the India-UK Strategic Partnership set out by our Prime Ministers during Prime Minister May’s November 2016 visit to India,” according to the joint statement.

The two countries agreed to work together swiftly to encourage sustainable bilateral investment that benefits both countries, including through the Joint Working Group. They also welcomed the recent introduction of a fast-track investment promotion mechanism, which provides a single window for U.K. companies that are looking to either establish or expand their business in India.

Tax evasion

“The U.K. and India share a common commitment to addressing cross-border tax evasion and avoidance and agree to collaborate in determining the status of wealth deposited in foreign financial accounts by nationals of both countries.”

The two ministers said they encourage the timely implementation of the G20/OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting Project outputs and called on other nations to meet their commitments. The exchange of information between the U.K. and India under the Common Reporting Standards on Automatic Exchange of Tax Information will begin this calendar year.

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