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Hong Kong, Macao Meet On Tax, Financial Cooperation

by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong

13 June 2012

Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary, John C Tsang, and Macao’s Secretary for Economy and Finance, Tam Pak-yuen, co-chaired the recent Fifth Hong Kong Macao Co-operation High Level Meeting in Macao to review the progress and future direction of co-operation between the two places, particularly in environmental, taxation and financial matters.

In reviewing the achievements made in Hong Kong-Macao co-operation, Tsang said: "Since the establishment of the Hong Kong-Macao liaison officers' mechanism in 2008, co-operation and exchange between the two sides have been increasing both in depth and breadth … Hong Kong and Macao have been working hand in hand to promote regional development and implement projects that have a synergy effect."

For example, it was said that the two governments' efforts in promoting regional environmental protection have been “bearing fruit.” As emissions from marine vessels have become one of the largest sources of air pollution in the region, representatives from both sides agreed at the meeting “to study the initiative of imposing in parallel a requirement for ocean-going vessels berthing in Hong Kong and Macao waters to switch to low-sulphur fuel, with a view to transforming regional waters into areas with advanced technology and quality green ports.”

With regard to the avoidance of double taxation and the exchange of tax information, the two sides said they hoped to resume discussions as soon as possible, “when the relevant legal frameworks of the two places are ready to enable the discussion to proceed further.”

Tsang also stressed that one of the key factors in Hong Kong-Macao co-operation “is to complement each other's strengths and promote co-ordinated development," adding that China’s 12th Five-Year Plan emphasises the national support for enhancing Hong Kong's status as an international financial centre.

“Under the principle of mutual benefits,” he added, “we proposed to the Macao government and the Monetary Authority of Macao at the meeting to capitalise on the financial platform in Hong Kong to make long-term investments so as to maintain and enhance the value of the fiscal reserves of Macao. The Macao side welcomed the proposal and indicated that they will actively consider it."

TAGS: environment | tax | marine | tax information exchange agreement (TIEA) | double tax agreement (DTA) | law | Macau | agreements | Hong Kong

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