Deloitte Middle East Point of View: On pandemics and history
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertainty that has resulted have left companies to grapple with the new normal and adapt to new realities. These effects are the topics discussed by Deloitte’s experts in the latest edition of the Deloitte Middle East Point of View: On pandemics and history. In the summer 2020 issue of the magazine, Deloitte experts look at what actions organizations need to take to recover and thrive in the current environment, and what tools are at their disposal to do so.
In her article Signing the pact, Soughit Abdelnour says that: “The pandemic escalated matters with the once controversial and blurry line between work and life completely vanishing, and work seeping into people’s homes […] affecting not just their physical wellness with the extra-long working hours, but more importantly, their mental health.”
The effects of the pandemic have not only blurred the lines between work and life, but also taxes. Abi Man Joshi, in his article Pillars in cyberspace, writes that “while some tech companies prosper due to the work-from-home environment, the international tax community is clamoring louder for the imposition of a digital tax as the government authorities are facing growing budget deficits.”
In their article Taxing Covid, Wissam Merhej and Fernando Costa write: “With strict quarantine guidelines and so many restrictions in place as regards the movement of people, companies and individuals raised concerns about the tax implications on cross-border workers and other related cross-border matters such as tax residency, permanent establishment, and right to tax, among others.”
Mustafa Ibrahim and Michael Yehya look at the effects of the pandemic on the GCC countries’ plans to diversify their economies. “Combining competitiveness with a strong and diversified economy contributes to the positioning of these countries as key destinations to do business on a global level,” they write in their article Changing mindset. “What remains to be seen is how things play out in terms of existing plans, given the altered nature of the global business environment that has risen as a result of the widespread COVID-19 virus.”
This issue of the Middle East Point of View also looks at how technology can benefit in this transition to the new normal. In his article Auditing disruption, Haseeb Akram writes: “From data analytics to blockchain technology to artificial intelligence, auditors must continue to harness technology for better and more informed decision-making.”
Another area where technology is important is compliance. In their article Follow the money, Ralph Stobwasser, Nipun Srivastava and Saad Qureshi write that in terms of source of wealth corroboration, “digital technology solutions can improve the effectiveness of the remediation programs while helping to reduce operational costs, client interaction and human error. Due to more accurate reporting and monitoring, Financial Institutions have a more comprehensive understanding of their risk portfolio.”
Syed Samar Abbas looks at interest rate benchmark reform in his article Beyond IBOR: An important paradigm shift for markets: “Although the transition from IBOR is not expected before end-2021, the reform will have a major impact on financial products already being offered and the risk management approaches adopted by financial institutions and corporates.”
In their article Cyber smarts, Tamer Charife and Mohamed El Nems offer tips for parents to keep their children safe in cyberspace and Ralph Stobwasser and Nikita Vaidya discuss a new notification recognizing the UAE as a reciprocating territory enabling judgments issued by the competent courts in the UAE to be enforced in India, and vice-versa, in their article A new dawn.
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