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Hong Kong wants to be removed from Portugal’s list of tax havens

Hong Kong has been on the Portuguese list since 2004, penalising Hong Kong enterprises that do business in the country
  • Hong Kong’s secretary for financial services and the treasury argues that the city has already taken steps to address concerns.

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ARTICLE BY

PUBLISHED

Christopher Hui, Hong Kong’s secretary for financial services and the treasury, has expressed his government’s desire for the city to be removed from Portugal’s list of tax havens. He made the request during a meeting with the country’s top tax official Cláudia Reis Duarte on 6 June. 

According to a Hong Kong government statement, Hui was reported as telling his Portuguese counterpart that the SAR had been on the list since 2004, resulting in Hong Kong businesses being slapped with higher taxes and special anti-abuse measures. 

Portugal’s list of tax havens currently features 80 jurisdictions, including the United Arab Emirates, Puerto Rico and Uruguay. Hui said to Duarte that Portugal should delist Hong Kong “in light of the city’s continuous efforts in supporting international cooperation.” 

[See more: Nearly 22 billion patacas were collected in gaming taxes in the first quarter]

During the meeting, the SAR official made reference to the EU’s removal of Hong Kong from its watchlist on tax cooperation in February of this year, which he said was evidence of the steps that the city had taken to comply with international tax standards and address the concerns from Brussels. 

While in Lisbon, Hui also met with the Chinese Ambassador to Portugal, Zhao Bentang, and held discussions with the Portuguese Minister of Economy, Pedro Reis, on issues concerning bilateral investment and sustainable economic development. 

According to the Tax Justice Network, Hong Kong was ranked 7th in the 2021 corporate tax haven index, accounting for 4.1 percent of corporate tax abuse risks worldwide. 

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