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di­aries present here not just for tax rea­sons but (also) in the area of cap­tive mar­kets,” he said at a half-day fo­rum en­ti­tled “The Fu­ture of Tax Plan­ning and Wealth Man­age­ment: Trans­parency and Sub­stance For All?”

“We will be fo­cus­ing on niche ar­eas like wealth man­age­ment, leas­ing, cap­tive in­sur­ance, com­mod­ity trad­ing and the likes be­cause at the end of the day, there will be ini­tia­tives like the Com­mon Re­port­ing Stan­dard (CRS) and Base Ero­sion Shift­ing (BEPS) that will flat­ten the tax an­gle.”

Mah said many in­ter­me­di­aries al­ready were present in Labuan IBFC be­cause of its ecosys­tem and this was some­thing that would strengthen with time.

“There are in­ter­me­di­aries like fi­nan­cial tech­nol­ogy firms that match up with fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions to fi­nance trans­ac­tions. For these firms, it is not just about tax but the need for a con­ducive en­vi­ron­ment to do their busi­ness. This is where we step in,” said Mah.

Mah had ear­lier said the com­bi­na­tion of the CRS and BEPS had brought on a “new nor­mal” for the fi­nan­cial world.

“We be­lieve that as busi­nesses adopt the new nor­mal, it would be nat­u­ral for them to con­sider es­tab­lish­ing in a well-reg­u­lated and cost-ef­fi­cient ju­ris­dic­tion to fa­cil­i­tate cross-bor­der trans­ac­tions and in­vest­ments, in­clud­ing re-domi­cil­ing their busi­nesses. Labuan IBFC’s lo­ca­tion and ac­ces­si­bil­ity make it ideal for Asian-based firms,” he said.

As­so­ci­a­tion of Labuan Banks chair­man Khairudin Ab­dul Rah­man said the tran­si­tion to CRS had al­ready been fac­tored in, thanks mainly to the For­eign Ac­count Tax Com­pli­ance Act (FATCA).

“I be­lieve the CRS is an ex­ten­sion of the FATCA, so what we are do­ing now is just tweak­ing the ground­work al­ready laid down by FATCA,” he said.

Labuan IBFC is a mid­shore fi­nan­cial cen­tre that caters to both cor­po­rate and pri­vate clients with a wide range of so­lu­tions and ser­vices.

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