TREASURY CHIEF CONCLUDES EUROPE VISIT

7-6-2024

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Secretary for Financial Services & the Treasury Christopher Hui yesterday visited Lisbon, Portugal, to meet senior officials and local business leaders there.

Mr Hui met Portuguese Secretary of State for Tax Affairs Cláudia Reis Duarte to exchange views on international tax co-operation.

On the removal of Hong Kong from the European Union (EU)'s watchlist on tax co-operation in February this year, Mr Hui said that it demonstrated the EU's recognition of Hong Kong's efforts in having introduced a foreign-sourced income exemption (FSIE) regime for specified passive income to better combat cross-boundary avoidance arising from double non-taxation.

Such efforts have brought Hong Kong's FSIE regime fully in line with the Guidance on FSIE Regimes updated by the EU in December 2022.

Also during the meeting, Mr Hui expressed concerns that Hong Kong had since 2004 been included in Portugal's “list of countries, territories or regions with a clearly more favourable tax regime”, which would subject Hong Kong enterprises to increased taxation and special anti-abuse measures in Portugal.

He urged Portugal to remove Hong Kong from the list in light of the city's continuous efforts in supporting international co-operation.

Mr Hui then met Portuguese Minister of Economy Pedro Reis to exchange views on issues of mutual concern, such as how to maintain sustainable economic growth and leverage the opportunities from mutual investment between the two places.

In the evening, the treasury chief attended the Business Seminar & Networking Reception in Hong Kong & the Greater Bay Area co-organised by the Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office, Brussels and the Portugal-Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

In the course of the seminar, he shared with guests Hong Kong's latest financial developments in product diversification, decarbonisation and digitalisation.

Mr Hui also paid a courtesy call on Chinese Ambassador to Portugal Zhao Bentang.

Concluding his visit to Europe, Mr Hui pointed out that during his meetings with officials and leaders of the regulators in Europe, he invited them to visit Hong Kong after they all expressed a keen interest in the city's virtual assets regulatory regime and its effectiveness.

“This October is Hong Kong's month convening flagship Web3 events, so I invited them to visit the city to attend the Hong Kong FinTech Week, the annual flagship event of the of the Financial Services & the Treasury Bureau, and other world-class activities to grasp the opportunities to further exchange views with key fintech stakeholders at the international level, and explore room for co-operation, while demonstrating the strength and determination of Hong Kong in embracing financial innovation.”




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