October 3, 2016

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Deputy Head of Banking and Finance Ow Kim Kit quoted in The Straits Times

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing’s Deputy Head of Banking and Finance, Ow Kim Kit, was quoted in The Straits Times article titled “Scheme's real value lies in the long-term benefits". The article was first published in The Straits Times on 1 October 2016.  Scheme's real value lies in the long-term benefits Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd Date: 1 October 2016 Author: Francis Chan Francis Chan Indonesia's much touted tax amnesty scheme has not generated anything close to the quadrillion rupiah cash injection Jakarta had hoped for from the repatriation of offshore assets. Of the 937 trillion rupiah (S$102 billion) worth of offshore assets declared by Indonesians, only 14 per cent has been sent home since the scheme's launch. Sceptics will undoubtedly use this fact to argue that the amnesty will not succeed in helping Indonesia raise the capital it needs to balance its state budget for the coming year. An insider in the Joko Widodo administration, however, has told The Straits Times that seeking repatriated funds was never the only objective of the amnesty. What it was also going after was a more valuable commodity - information. This includes assets owned by Indonesians at home and abroad, as well as other income data, which can be used as a foundation for Indonesia to rebuild its notoriously loose tax regime. Only 27 million of Indonesia's 250 million population have registered as taxpayers. Of these, less than a million actually file tax returns and experts say this has been the case for as long as they can recall. But director-general of taxes Ken Dwijugiasteadi told The Straits Times yesterday that of the 341,110 tax- payers who have filed their returns under the amnesty, 15,000 were new taxpayers. Indeed, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati earlier this week said the scheme was more about reforming Indonesia's tax policy and administration. "What is more important is that Indonesian taxpayers realise that in order for us to build the country we really have to mobilise tax in a much more professional and good governance fashion," she said. As of yesterday, Indonesians declared 3,516 trillion rupiah worth in assets, achieving almost 90 per cent of its four quadrillion rupiah target in the first three months of the nine-month-long scheme, which officially kicked off only in mid-July. The taxman also collected 97 trillion rupiah, or 59 per cent of the 165 trillion rupiah in tax revenue Jakarta had hoped to raise. These figures mean Indonesia has managed to outperform - in just the first phase of the scheme - other jurisdictions around the world such as Australia, Chile, Ireland, Italy, South Africa and Spain, which had introduced tax amnesties between 1993 and last year. It has also raised the highest in tax revenue among countries that have done so over the same period. Therefore, the repatriation shortfall, the only blemish in the scheme thus far, may well be a short-term issue, said experts such as RHTLaw Taylor Wessing deputy head of banking and finance Ow Kim Kit. "Some of the customers' funds may be locked up in illiquid property or investments that may require more time and resources to find a buyer at an appropriate price. No one's interest will be served by any large-scale divestment of any asset class that disrupts the market." OCBC Bank economist Wellian Wiranto agrees the real game-changing element of the tax amnesty is over the longer term and how it would be a boon to Indonesia's narrow tax base and less than developed financial sector. "What is worth thinking about too, and much less discussed thus far, is the notion that the tax amnesty would shift how the average Indonesian views the government-to-citizenry relationship."
September 27, 2016

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing participated in China Maritime Arbitration Commission conference in Shanghai

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Senior Consultant Peter Koh participated as a speaker at the China Maritime Arbitration Commission (‘CMAC”) conference in Shanghai. Held on 23 September 2016, the event was organised by CMAC to promote international maritime arbitration in Shanghai. Peter presented two informative papers in relation to the merits of arbitration and provisional measures in international arbitration. Peter is an accredited arbitrator with both CMAC and CIETAC. The conference was attended by more than 100 lawyers, arbitrators, in house counsel, top executives of shipping and maritime organizations, in addition to scholars from the major maritime universities and institutes in China and overseas.
September 27, 2016

RHT Rajan Menon Foundation successfully registered as a charity in Singapore

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing is pleased to announce that RHT Rajan Menon Foundation Ltd (“Foundation”) has been successfully registered as a charity in Singapore effective from 16 September 2016. Named after our Founder-Senior Consultant Rajan Menon, the Foundation acts as a vehicle through which our Firm and the RHT Group of Companies contribute to their charitable endeavours. In May this year, the RHT Rajan Menon Foundation Charity Golf 2016 helped to raise more than S$260,000 in support of WWF Singapore, The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund and National Gallery Singapore. In October 2016, the Foundation will be partnering with the Singapore Red Cross (“SRC”) as SRC’s title sponsor for a charity golf event to be held at the Orchid Country Club. For more information, please contact Senior Partner Tan Chong Huat and Partner Kaylee Kwok.
September 26, 2016

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Managing Partner Tan Chong Huat shared his views on “Bridging the trust gap” in this week’s Views from the Top

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing’s Managing Partner Tan Chong Huat shared his views in this week’s topic in the Business Times’ weekly column, Views from the Top. This article was first published in The Business Times on 26 September 2016. Bridging the trust gap SEP 26, 2016 5:50 AM THIS WEEK'S TOPIC: What can be done - by business leaders and companies - to build trust? Tan Chong Huat Managing Partner RHTLaw Taylor Wessing LLP At the risk of over simplifying the subject, I would recommend that business leaders and companies remember the acronym "GRACE" ie Governance, Risk, Anti-Money Laundering, Compliance & Ethics. These are important virtues when it comes to building trust.  The embracing of each and every one of them will be essential to guide and promote trust, and prevent the destruction of trust that have been established, built over time and maintained between companies and stakeholders. Good governance that delivers performance and profitability which complies with regulations (among others, anti-money laundering as in the recent BSI / 1MDB case), conforms with good ethics, and is equipped with adequate and effective risk management will offer a good trust-enabling framework. Needless to say, the honesty, diligence and accountability of business leaders will be of foremost importance in determining the trust quotient of the companies they helm. Examples include Dr Cheong Choong Kong (Singapore Airlines) and Warren Buffet (Berkshire Hathaway), just to name a notable few. Over time, some of these companies become great institutions which are trusted and loved by their stakeholders, with a distinctive culture of honour and integrity. Hence the importance of "GRACE"