Since the publication of our first WTS Global in Asia Pacific brochure in 2019, the sense of continued business optimism has been replaced by economic disruption and devastation brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, more than a year into the pandemic that crippled the world, the extent of the impact reverberates across sectors and industries in the Asia Pacific region. As governments contend with deficits and slowdowns, businesses, meanwhile, are exposed to risks arising from disrupted supply chains, evolving tax policies and fiscal stimulus measures.
The World Bank’s latest report states that, amongst Asian economies, only China and Vietnam are poised for growth in 2021. As sustainable recovery for most Asian economies remains elusive, key developments in the region and globally are considered at play in helping shape how soon economies and businesses can fully bounce back:
- Tax policies have become a focal point in every government’s pandemic response mechanism to help spur economic confidence and support groups most affected by the volatile business climate. On the other hand, businesses need to brace for aggressive tax policies and implementation that would be put in place by tax authorities at a later stage
- The OECD BEPS2.0 final report will be one of the most widely anticipated developments for international tax and transfer pricing practitioners globally. Regardless of the details of the report, all multinational enterprises will need to reassess global tax strategies and structures.
- Free trade agreements such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) provide possibilities for cross-border businesses to implement tax and duty-savings strategies in their supply chains
- With the adoption of digital taxes by a growing number of Asia Pacific jurisdictions, concerns abound including double taxation issues arising from unilateral tax measures.
- US President Joe Biden’s tax and trade policies such as the country’s potential return to the Trans-Pacific Partnership would be favourable to export-oriented Asian economies.
- The Biden administration’s trade policies vis-à-vis China will also determine whether there will be a reprieve to trade tensions or whether companies will need to continue to walk the tight rope of complying with two increasingly extra-territorial and potentially conflicting set of trade rules.
- The effectiveness of vaccines will also determine how quickly the global economy is able to recover to pre-COVID levels or whether businesses will need to deal with a new norm of permanent impediments to global trade and commerce
Businesses with significant Asian footprints need long-term and conflict-free tax advisors who can work with their tax executives to develop resilient and agile responses to the volatile regulatory landscape. We, at WTS Global in Asia Pacific, can help international businesses thrive and recover through sustainable tax strategies and compliance. We draw our strength and expertise from our highly collaborative Asian network of tax experts with presence in 14 jurisdictions across the region, enabling us to assemble a team for all areas of tax including:
- Global value chains
- Transfer pricing
- International and regional tax planning
- International tax and permanent establishments
- Mergers & acquisitions
- Regional tax controversies
- Dispute resolution via competent authority processes – APA & MAP
- Digital taxation
- Financial services
- Private equity
- Indirect tax
- International trade
- Private clients
- Tax technology
We have the expertise and experience to provide global businesses with insights and advice to navigate an increasingly complex and changing tax and trade landscape in the region. We hope businesses will find our second Asia Pacific brochure useful as they plot their way through resilience to recovery
View the Through Resilience to Recovery in Asia Pacific brochure here.