* Switzerland, EU Ink New Savings Tax Pact
Switzerland and the European Union (EU) have initialled an agreement on the automatic exchange of tax information (AEOI). Account data will be collected from 2017, with the first exchange scheduled for 2018.
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* EU: Combatting Corporate Tax Avoidance
The European Commission presented a package of tax transparency measures as part of its ambitious agenda to tackle corporate tax avoidance and harmful tax competition in the EU. A key element of this Tax Transparency Package is a proposal to introduce the automatic exchange of information between Member States on their tax rulings
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* China and US Telecoms Giants Lead Global Patent Activity in 2014
According to the UN World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) annual review of international patent filings, a leading Chinese telecoms giant overtook a Japanese firm as the largest applicant last year, and China and the US together accounted for 87 per cent of the total growth in filings under WIPO’s Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).
Under that system, some 215,000 applications were filed in 2014, a 4.5 per cent increase over the previous year, WIPO said in a news release.
* WTO: Assistance in Food Safety, Animal and Plant Health
Five agencies and their partners operating a programme to help developing countries meet international standards on food safety and animal and plant health have approved plans for 2015–2019 designed to further strengthen safe trade.
The decision will allow the Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF) to continue to provide assistance to developing countries,
The STDF was set up in 2004 by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), World Bank, World Health Organization (WHO) and World Trade Organization (WTO), and is run by the five partners together with donor countries and representatives of developing countries.