Singapore Signs Tax Protocol with France - Joins OECD Whitelist with 12th Signing13 Nov 2009
1. Singapore has entered into its 12th agreement that incorporates the new internationally agreed Standard for the exchange of information for tax purposes upon request by signing a protocol to amend the standing agreement for the avoidance of double taxation (“DTA”) with France today.
2. Singapore has signed similar agreements with Belgium, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Denmark, the Netherlands, Australia, Austria, Norway, Qatar, Mexico and Bahrain. With this 12th agreement, Singapore joins the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) white list of jurisdictions that have substantially implemented the Standard.
3. Singapore’s Minister for Finance Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam signed the protocol with French Minister for the Economy, Industry and Employment Ms. Christine Lagarde during her visit to Singapore today.
4. “I am pleased that we are enhancing our tax co-operation with France, a major economic partner for Singapore. We will not stop at 12 agreements. We expect to sign several more by the end of the year, and will continue to renegotiate such DTAs. Parliament has also approved the legislative changes to implement the Standard. Singapore will also be playing an active role in the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information, and we are pleased to have been recently appointed as the Vice Chairman of the Global Forum's Peer Review Group. Like Singapore’s high ratings by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for its role in the global anti-money laundering effort, these recent steps are consistent with our role as a responsible and well-regulated financial jurisdiction,” Minister Tharman said.
5. On a similar note, Minister Lagarde remarked, “I am particularly pleased to sign today the 12th protocol which allows the withdrawing of Singapore from the OECD grey list. It is a significant breakthrough to see such an important financial place reaching the OECD white list. I hope that after this agreement, our two countries will continue to enhance their financial and economic cooperation in order to build a bridge between Europe and Asia and to strengthen their economic and financial links.”
6. “I am also delighted to note that this signature is an important step in the willingness of Singapore to participate more directly in the improvement of the global financial rules. In addition, I would like to assure the Singaporean authorities of the French support to succeed in their function of Vice Chairman of the Global Forum's Peer Review Group.” she added.
7. The full text of the protocol will be made available on the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore’s (IRAS) website at http://www.iras.gov.sg. The protocol will enter into force after its ratification by both countries.