On Monday, February 23rd, Singapore’s Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, announced the release of the country’s Budget 2015, which, among welfare benefits for senior citizens, will have a number of important consequences for businesses.
The Philippines’ Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has announced that it has expanded the number of taxpayers who must now use e-filing to pay their taxes. This action is intended to make filing tax returns simpler and encourage more tax compliance from taxpayers.
In this ASEAN Regulatory Brief, we look at some of the important regulatory changes taking place in Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Indonesia during the months of January and February.
The government of Singapore has announced that it will postpone the effective date of the amendment to the Companies Act 2014 (the Amendment) and the Business Names Registration Act to the second quarter of 2015, as stated by the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) earlier this year. An exact date is yet to be announced, but according to ACRA more details will be made public about two months before the changes are due to take place. Agencies and stakeholders likewise will have more time to adapt to the new legislative changes.
The Singapore Exchange (SGX) has released a disclosure guide aimed at aiding companies’ compliance with the country’s corporate governance regulations. The document, structured in a concise question & answer-format, will not only help companies to comply with key aspects of governance, but will also make it easier for investors to assess the companies they might invest in.
With its newly opened International Commercial Court, Singapore wants to become the alternative location for arbitration in Asia. The country has also made a series of other investments into its legal services sector and has established the Singapore International Mediation Centre (SIMC).
On its first day back in business, January 19, 2015, Singapore’s Parliament has approved the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Bill and the Pawnbrokers Bill on second readings, and saw the introduction of the Community Disputes, Deep Seabed Mining, Liquor Control (Supply and Consumption), and MediShield Life Scheme Bills.
A Rule from Indonesia’s Trade Ministry requires commodity exporters to use letters of credit (L/C) in overseas shipments from April 1, 2015. The new rule will effect coal, oil and gas, palm and palm-kernel oil, and minerals including tin. According to the Ministry, these commodities together accounted for over 41 percent of Indonesia’s exports from 2009 to 2013, averaging $US71 billion per year.
On December 9th, the Second ASEAN-OECD Investment Policy Conference was held in Jakarta, Indonesia, to discuss the continued facilitation and promotion of ASEAN investment for regional integration. The event brought together ASEAN investment policy makers, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) members, and industry leaders, to showcase ASEAN’s regional investment integration achievements since the first conference in 2010. Included at the conference was the release of the OECD’s Investment Policy Review of Myanmar, which marked the country as one to watch heading into 2015.
In this article we highlight some of the recent tax and regulatory actions taken in the ASEAN region. The importance of ASEAN continues to grow, with 2015 set to see the implementation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). The AEC seeks to “transform ASEAN into a single market and production base, a highly competitive economic region, a region of equitable economic development, and a region fully integrated into the global economy.” Collectively, ASEAN represents a market of some 600 million people, with a combined GDP of about US$2.5 trillion and upwards of US$1.5 trillion in trade flowing throughout the region.