Jersey has signed a Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) with Hong Kong, seen as another key step in growing business in the region.
Signed by Jersey’s Chief Minister Senator Ian Gorst and Hong Kong’s Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Professor K C Chan, the agreement reinforces the focus Jersey’s finance industry has on building business in the region.
As well as strengthening the ability to exchange requested tax information with Hong Kong, the agreement is expected to bring significant commercial benefits to Jersey’s finance industry, resolving issues relating to potential double taxation of both corporate and personal taxes.
Jersey Finance has had a permanent office in Hong Kong since 2009 and facilitates visits for Members regularly, with the next visit due in the second half of the year.
Investment from Hong Kong and China in Jersey remains substantial, with nearly £7bn of banking deposits emanating from the Far East. The first Chinese company was registered in Jersey in 1994. More recently a number of influential deals have been listed using Jersey companies following approval in 2009 for Jersey holding companies to list on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. In addition, a quarter of the Chinese companies that have listed in London have done so through Jersey.
In particular, Geoff Cook, chief executive, Jersey Finance points to growth opportunities in private wealth management. “That China’s GDP is expected to continue to grow at around 8% reaffirms that there are clear opportunities for Jersey to grow its private wealth management business through its specialist trust and foundation structures and popular expat banking services. Jersey’s flexible company structures also continue to be attractive as capital market activity in Hong Kong accelerates. In all these areas, this DTA will add significantly to the reasons for investors and institutions to have confidence in and choose Jersey as their preferred European financial centre to invest in Western markets.”
Zhaoan Li, Jersey Finance’s Head of Business Development Greater China, added: “The signing of the agreement comes at a time when a number of Jersey legal and financial services firms are opening offices in Hong Kong, which is fantastic news. Demonstrating a commitment like this to doing business is absolutely vital in the Hong Kong market, so this agreement is really important not just in a technical sense but also because it underpins Jersey’s commercial relationship with Hong Kong too.”
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