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Wednesday , October 23 2019

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain questioned on taxing energy and soft drinks

DUBAI: The European Union, Switzerland and the United States have complained at the World Trade Organisation about an excise tax imposed by several Gulf Arab states on carbonated and energy drinks, according to notes of a WTO meeting and diplomatic sources.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain were asked to explain the rationale behind a 100 percent duty on energy drinks and a 50 percent tax on other carbonated beverages, notes of a July 3-4 WTO meeting show.

The tax was introduced in 2017 as governments in the oil-exporting region came under fiscal pressure from a sharp drop in oil prices. The Gulf states have said the tax aims to diversify revenues and promote healthy lifestyles in countries where there are high rates of diabetes and obesity. (RTRS)

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