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Luxembourg diplomat seeks investments from India Inc

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

In a bid to attract investments into Luxembourg, once seen as a "tax haven", its ambassador today assured industrialists and investors that his government "does not encourage money laundering."

"We do not encourage dirty money. It is a misconception that the Luxembourg is a tax haven," the alpine nation's ambassador to India, Sam Schreiner stressed while addressing investors here.

The claim comes at a time when the government is cracking down heavily on "black money" and corporate frauds and the Supreme Court is monitoring the probe into the close to 700 names that was released by the French government based on stolen data from an HSBC branch in Switzerland.

Further, Schreiner said investigations into the black money case, wherein several domestic business houses and names of the rich figure in the HSBC list, is "going on smoothly."

"Investigations are being conducted in full cooperation between the two countries," he said, adding that "our trade minister on his recent visit to India has assured full cooperation in these investigations. We have seen this cooperation between tax authorities in India and Luxembourg. We are working closely to ensure the investigations run smoothly."

He also pointed out that a country 2,000 times smaller than India is the only debt-free country in the European Union, and only other country in the whole world is Singapore.

Claiming that his country offers an investor-friendly tax regime, Schreiner said, "We are more tax competitive, and do not have a zero tax regime and have the lowest tax rate at 21 per cent in the EU but the highest income in the Union."

According to the industry lobby, All-India Association of Industries president Vijay Kalantri, Indo-Luxembourg trade constitutes only 5 per cent trade.

"In 2013, we signed an agreement for steel. Over 90 domestic companies' global depository receipts (GDRs) are listed in the Luxembourg. Many domestic companies go into this Alpine nation for GDR issues because of is assured high volume.

First Published: Wed, April 22 2015. 21:57 IST