Australian, NZ businessmen on 'wait-and-see' over tax reform

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 20 2019 04:20 PM | Updated as of May 20 2019 04:27 PM

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MANILA - Investors from Australia and New Zealand are keen on locating in the Philippines but are wary over corporate tax reforms that are pending in Congress, a business group head said Monday.

The Australia-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce Philippines (ANZCham) polled members in the region and results showed that 84 percent are looking to expand in Southeast Asia, with 24 percent eyeing the Philippines as a location, said its president, Dan Alexander.

Members were attracted to the country's vast talent pool and the government's ambitious infrastructure push, he said.

"The maturity of the infrastructure that's starting to be rolled out is also another indication of why Australian businesses are looking to the Philippines," Alexander said in an interview with ANC's Market Edge. 

Many members, however, are adopting a "wait-and-see" stance due to uncertainty over proposed legislation that could remove incentives for businesses in economic zones.

The Tax Reform for Attracting Better and High-Quality Opportunities or TRABAHO bill seeks to remove several fiscal incentives while lowering the corporate tax income rate. 

There is a "very fine line between reforming economic policies and good governance, and trying to create that investor-friendly environment for foreign investment," Alexander said.