FS signs agreement on avoidance of double taxation in Dubai (with photos)

     The Financial Secretary, Mr John C Tsang, signed an agreement on the avoidance of double taxation with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and announced the launch of negotiations for an Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement in Dubai today (December 11).

     Mr Tsang signed the agreement on the avoidance of double taxation on behalf of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government (HKSAR) while the Minister of State for Financial Affairs of the UAE, HE Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, signed on behalf of his government.

     The two sides also announced the launch of negotiations for the Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement, which would further strengthen the economic and trade ties between Hong Kong and the UAE when concluded.

     This was followed by the Bell-Ringing Ceremony on Listing of Sukuk in Dubai, marking the HKSAR Government's inaugural sukuk offering in Dubai.

     Mr Tsang also had a meeting with the Chairman of the Dubai Financial Market and Governor of the Dubai International Financial Centre, HE Essa Abdulfattah Kazim, and the Chairman of the Board of the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre, HE Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi.

     At a business luncheon co-organised with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Tsang spoke on connecting the two regional hubs of Hong Kong and Dubai.

     Speaking to senior executives from the UAE business community and Hong Kong businessmen in the UAE, Mr Tsang pointed out that Hong Kong and Dubai have much in common, as gateways to hinterlands with full of consumers and opportunities. And the finance industry is where Hong Kong and Dubai shine.

     "First, Islamic finance. Islamic finance is among the fastest-rising segments in the international financial system, with a growing presence in both Muslim and non-Muslim communities. We are actively tapping into this unbounded opportunity.

     "Through the inaugural sukuk offering, we demonstrated that the legal, regulatory and taxation framework in Hong Kong can easily accommodate sukuk issuance.

     "Second, asset management. Hong Kong is a top asset management centre in Asia. This has generated huge savings and wealth accumulation in the region, generating unprecedented demands on Hong Kong's asset management industry.

     "So, if you are looking for expertise or channels to enhance the value of your assets and diversify your portfolios, Hong Kong is the place to turn to.

     "Third, Renminbi business. If you are doing or planning to do business with the Mainland, our Renminbi business will just be what you are looking for. Over this past decade, Hong Kong has emerged as the world's largest offshore Renminbi business hub. From personal banking services to trade settlement and financing, and the marketing of innovative investment products, Hong Kong plays a critical role in the Renminbi's internationalisation.

     "The increasing use of the Renminbi in international trade and finance will help reduce foreign exchange risks in cross-border trade and investment between Mainland China and the rest of the world. It will also offer new opportunities for corporations and financial institutions of the UAE," he said.

     Mr Tsang led a business delegation to Saudi Arabia and the UAE from December 7 to 11. The objectives of his visit were to strengthen trade and investment ties with these two countries and promote Hong Kong's strengths as an international financial centre and offshore Renminbi business centre.

Ends/Thursday, December 11, 2014
Issued at HKT 21:41