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British firms air concerns over 2nd tax reform package

/ 05:20 AM September 06, 2018

The British Chamber of Commerce Philippines (BCCP) joins the list of foreign business chambers who are worried over tax reform, although there are only a few British firms located in economic zones.

In a press briefing on Wednesday, BCCP Executive Chair Chris Nelson said the chamber understands the points raised by the American, Korean and Japanese business groups on the second tax package.

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This is despite the fact that there only a few export-oriented British firms located in economic zones, according to Nelson, which means only a few are directly affected by the move to rationalize tax perks.

“We are aware of the issues raised by other chambers, and we would support the fact that their view should be considered,” he said.

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The support coming from the 280-member British business chamber comes amid divisive talks over the second comprehensive tax reform package of the Duterte administration.

The tax package, called the “Trabaho” bill, will lower the corporate income tax in the country, benefiting companies that primarily target the domestic market, such as BCCP member firms.

However, the second tax reform package will also rationalize tax incentives, meaning some perks will be removed.

This is a cause for concern for companies located in economic zones, where they were offered tax perks to make up for the high cost of doing business here.

Nevertheless, Nelson said there were still opportunities to do business here, a narrative that the group will highlight later this month.

On Sept. 27, Nelson said there would be a dialogue in London between Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez and around 30 British micro, small  and medium-sized enterprises.

“The main purpose actually is to further highlight opportunities that are here today in the Philippines,” he said.

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He said there would also be a Philippine economic briefing in London that month, to be spearheaded by the Department of Finance and the Philippine Embassy in the United Kingdom.

He cited the country’s economic growth of 6 percent in the second quarter, which he said was still attractive to British firms.

He also cited the country’s infrastructure plans and the demographic sweet spot among the factors attractive to these firms.

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TAGS: 2nd tax reform package, BCCP executive chair Chris Nelson, British Chamber of Commerce Philippines (BCCP), foreign business chambers
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