singapore


Singapore’s Open For Business

Posted on November 2nd, by Global Tax Weekly in Business, Corporation Tax. No Comments

Singapore may not be everybody’s cup of tea. Social and cultural attitudes are still quite conservative, it’s often insufferably hot and humid, and, like in many Asian cities, lungs of steel are required when the haze descends. But as a place to do business, it’s second to none. At least according to the latest Doing Business report by the World Bank, which attempts to measure how easy (or not) it is to establish and operate a business in a given country, and which again ranks Singapore first out of the 189 jurisdictions reviewed. The relative ease with which companies in Singapore are able to discharge their tax obligations combined with relatively low tax rates are, of course, a major factor in Singapore’s enduring success in these sorts of polls. But it also goes beyond tax. It’s all well and good … Read More »


Well done, Singapore…

Posted on May 4th, by Global Tax Weekly in Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS), OECD. No Comments

…for suggesting that the OECD’s focus with its BEPS project is almost entirely focused on “harmful” tax practices to the point where the beneficial ones have been forgotten about. It sounds – in the spirit of one of John Cleese’s characters again – like stating the bleedin’ obvious, but it’s about time somebody did. Of course, from the OECD’s point of view, I suppose that’s the whole ethos of The Project: the elimination of tax competition. Not that you’ll hear such an admission from the mouth of Angel Gurria or the finance ministers of the OECD governments who regularly praise the work of the OECD without ever seeming to question it. If they ever did stop to think what they are about to unleash on the world, perhaps they might begin to have second thoughts. Then again, politicians generally are … Read More »


Trading Places

Posted on May 11th, by Global Tax Weekly in Trade. No Comments

It has been a good week, on the whole, for trade, with ABAC urging APEC to progress FTAAP through amalgamation of ASEAN, the TPP and RCEP via the Bogor goals. Sorry, I couldn’t resist that. The bottom line is that most Asia-Pacific nations are very well disposed towards free trade deals. And the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) which has been demonstrating the opposite of cooperation by walking through trade treacle on its way to a regional tariff-free zone for the last ten years, is finally showing some signs of movement towards its goal. The GCC consists of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, so we can award stars to Dubai at least (confused? don’t be, it’s part of the UAE and a lot more market-friendly than most of the rest of it), although the remainder … Read More »


Bits And Pieces

Posted on January 16th, by Global Tax Weekly in Banking, Currency, E-commerce. No Comments

Singapore has issued some quite sensible guidance on tax aspects of bitcoin transactions, which suggests that there must be a fair amount of bitcoin activity there. The first Asian bitcoin conference was held in Singapore last year, at any rate. Bitcoins join Uzbekhistan on the list of subjects on which I am passing ignorant. I keep trying and failing to understand the phenomenon of bitcoins. Theoretically one should be in favor of a virtual currency with, so to speak, monetary limits (unlike existing national paper currencies, which are being inflated out of sight by central banks who want to keep interest rates low), but I question the usefulness of a currency which by definition can never exist in large quantities. On the other hand, other, similar currencies could exist in large numbers. If there is a bitcoin, why shouldn’t there … Read More »





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