Duke University: Kenan’s Human Rights Center unveils database to track collaborative initiatives on business and human rights. “The Duke Human Rights Center at the Kenan Institute for Ethics has helped launch a new database that tracks multi-stakeholder initiatives, voluntary initiatives that involve some form of collaboration between governments, NGOs, and private companies, aimed at improving businesses’ treatment of, and respect for, human rights. The goal of the project is to increase public understanding of an emerging source of international standards for responsible business and government conduct.”
Xinhuanet: Belt and Road online database released in Shanghai . “Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences Wednesday announced the release of an online database of Belt and Road information. The website … offers free of charge access to writing, data analysis and research findings about 65 Belt and Road countries, said Wang Zhen, deputy chief of the academy.” If you’re wondering what Belt and Road countries are, The Economist has an explanation.. Too bad about that acronym…. I spent a few moments going through the new database and it doesn’t appear to be complete. The entry for Russia, for example, has no data on any political figures.
The International Chamber of Commerce has launched a new digital library. “At the world business organization, we recognise the importance of information and knowledge to your business and legal practices. That’s why we’ve created the ICC Digital Library. Through this online service, we’ll deliver easy, 24/7 access to our vast collection of essential reference materials to promote innovative research, learning and more.” Some of the items are available for paid members only, though other sections are open to anyone.
Australia has passed its “Google Tax” law. “Ultimately, the new laws will see some companies that book their profits in international regions that claim a lower tax rate than Australia’s standard 30 per cent company rate slugged with a tax bill based on a rate of 40 per cent.”
Facebook wants small businesses to do more international reach on its platform. “Facebook is trying to help small businesses become global businesses with some new tweaks to its advertising platforms. On Thursday, the company announced that it’s offering businesses with Facebook pages the chance to easily reach international audiences on the social network and will offer suggestions about which country to take their business to next.”
Lawyer up (or possibly more up) Google: France is not making a deal on taxes. “France will ‘go all the way’ to ensure that multinationals operating on its soil pay their taxes and more cases could follow after Google and McDonald’s were targeted by tax raids, Finance Minister Michel Sapin said. Sapin, speaking in an interview with Reuters and three European newspapers, ruled out negotiating any deal with Google on back taxes, as Britain did in January.”
Looks like Australia is getting on the “Google Tax” bandwagon. “Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison has said in his budget speech on Tuesday night that in response to calls from the Australian public, the Australian government would introduce a Diverted Profits Tax (DPT) on multinational companies avoiding tax. Under the new arrangements to take effect from July 1, 2017, the DPT will penalise companies that are found to have shifted profits offshore by taxing those profits at a rate of 40 percent.”