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2011年10月,致信香港行政长官曾荫权先生,提出关于对香港贸易公司的离岸贸易实行优惠税率的建议。
发布时间:2012/3/28
 

尊敬的香港特别行政区行政长官曾荫权先生:

国际贸易是香港开埠以来最重要的产业之一,对于香港经济的繁荣和发展起到了重要的作用。然而近年来,香港的国际贸易产业却受到新加坡的严峻挑战!

新加坡一直把香港作为最主要的竞争对手。为了成为亚太地区,甚至世界的贸易中心,新加坡于2001年推出了“Global Trader Programme ”,即“环球贸易商计划”,其中最重要的措施就是放弃对国际贸易公司征收17%利得税的政策。对无论是已存在的贸易公司还是新成立的贸易公司,只要在新加坡有真实的离岸业务活动,雇佣一定人数的当地员工,利用新加坡的金融机构进行融资,并在当地有相当数额的商业活动支出,新加坡政府就会根据它们离岸贸易营业额的多少,经过审批给予不同的利得税优惠。对年贸易额达到1亿美元、年商业活动支出超过3百万新币和雇佣当地员工达到3人的贸易公司,给予征收10%利得税的优惠,有效期为五年,到期后贸易公司可以再申请续期。对年贸易额达到4亿美元以上、年商业活动支出超过4百万新币和雇佣当地员工5人以上的贸易公司,则给予只征收5%利得税的优惠,有效期为五年,到期后贸易公司可以再申请续期。这种做法使新加坡成为对国际贸易公司征税最低的地区,成功吸引了来自全世界的几百家贸易公司进入新加坡。世界最知名的大矿山如淡水河谷(Vale)、必和必拓(BHP)、力拓(Rio Tinto),世界最大的石油公司如壳牌(Shell)、英国石油公司(BP)、雪佛龙(Chevron)、美孚(Exxon Mobil)、道达尔(Total),世界最知名的粮商如嘉吉(Cargill)、嘉能可(Glencore)、路易达夫(Louis Dreyfus)、托福(Toepfer)等都在新加坡设立了公司。中国有上千家钢厂和众多的有色金属企业及煤电企业,它们基本上都有一个国际贸易公司用来海外融资和进口矿产原材料等,其中很多的“国贸公司”都选择了新加坡。有时在一栋大厦里面有好几家来自内地的贸易公司。除此之外,新加坡还吸引了大量日本、印度、马来西亚、印尼、韩国和欧美等国家的贸易公司。新加坡已基本成为世界的铁矿、油品和粮食的国际贸易中心。据新加坡政府统计,由于世界大量的国际贸易公司的进驻,每年给新加坡带来五﹑六千亿美元的贸易额。

相比之下,香港就显出了较大的差距。香港的税收是采用“地域来源的征税原则。香港税务局在其印发的《地域来源征税原则简介》中开宗明义:“香港采用地域来源原则征税,即只有源自香港的利润才须在香港课税,而源自其它地方的利润则不须在香港缴纳利得税”。这个税收原则本来是很有吸引力的,理应对香港贸易公司的离岸业务免征利得税才对。但在实际操作中,香港一直对香港贸易公司的离岸贸易业务征收16.5%的利得税,其主要理由是因为相关的贸易合同是在香港达成以及在香港有融资的行为等。这种做法实质上与“地域来源”的征税原则是相互矛盾的,对香港作为自由贸易港和国际贸易中心是一个非常负面的影响,严重削弱了香港的国际竞争力。曾经在香港经营了很多年的世界最大的贸易商,诸如CargillGlencore等,在45年前就迁移到了新加坡。有两家在香港的上市公司,一家是很有名的贸易商,另一家是很有名的油品公司,都把主营业务放到了新加坡。一间著名会计师楼的资深税务官曾坦率地跟我讲,她根据客户的需要,办理了很多这类的案子。这些年香港的高税率不但使香港很多的国际贸易公司迁址或将业务转移,而且阻碍了更多有实力和有潜质的国际贸易公司来香港发展,特别是内地的国际贸易公司来港发展,损失是非常巨大的。

为了提高和加强香港的国际竞争力,巩固香港国际贸易中心的地位,并考虑到税收对香港的重要意义和参考新加坡的做法,建议香港政府尽快研究对香港贸易公司的离岸业务实行条件简单、不用审批的优惠税率的可能。即对于在香港注册的贸易公司,不管其营业额有多大、商业活动支出有多少,不管其是否聘用了本地员工,只要所从事的贸易活动是真实的离岸业务,贸易的实际买方和卖方都不在香港,所涉及的货品是完全属于第三国的,就一律给予永久性的利得税优惠。综合考虑,这个优惠的利得税税率以不高于5%为宜。

对香港贸易公司的离岸业务实行不高于5%的优惠税率,表面上看是损失,但实际上应该是利大于弊。因为高税率不仅不能吸引新的贸易公司来港注册,还会迫使更多现有的国际贸易公司离开香港或将业务转移到新加坡。一定要清楚地看到,对于从事第三国贸易的国际贸易公司来讲,业务放在哪里都是可以的,关键是看哪里的条件更优越。

如果可以切切实实地对贸易公司的离岸贸易实行优惠税率,相比其他地区来讲,香港将具有很大的优势。不但可以稳定已在本港经营的国际贸易公司,还可以吸引更多内地的﹑亚太地区的和欧美地区的贸易公司来香港扎根。这对于香港吸引国际资金,创造更多就业机会,增加政府薪俸税的收入,带动来港公干旅游,推动写字楼住宅的需求,扩大消费,促进香港作为国际贸易中心、国际金融中心和国际航运中心的建设,进一步提升香港的国际地位,都具有极其重大的意义和作用。

当看到越来越多的国际贸易公司,特别是内地的国际贸易公司弃“港”赴“新”日甚一日之时,倍感焦急与忧虑。

特呈上本建议。如蒙考虑,不胜荣幸!

顺颂台绥。

 

附件:新加坡“Global Trader Programme

 

 

                                         高彦明 谨致

                             二〇一一年十月十八日

 

抄送政务司司长林瑞麟先生、财政司司长曾俊华先生

附件新加坡Global Trader Programme

 

International trade is a key pillar of the Singapore economy. Strategically situated at the crossroads of the world's major aviation and shipping routes, the nation's premier trade hub status is enhanced by our proximity to source and consumer markets, the critical mass of international trading companies based here, and our efficient trade infrastructure and trade support services.

To continue to facilitate and develop international trading activities, International Enterprise (IE) Singapore launched the Global Trader Programme (GTP) in June 2001. Formed by the merger of the Approved Oil Trader (AOT) and the Approved International Trader (AIT) programmes, the GTP allows companies on the programme to enjoy a concessionary tax rate on qualifying trade income. The programme encourages global trading companies to use Singapore as their regional or global base to conduct activities along the total trade value-add chain from procurement to distribution, in order to expand into the region and beyond.

Over the years, the programme has attracted a vibrant cluster of global trading companies to hub their strategic business functions in Singapore. These companies are key players in their respective commodity sectors such as Oil & Chemicals, Agricultural Commodities as well as Metals & Minerals. Today, more than 270 global trading companies have chosen to anchor their regional and or global business operations in Singapore.

5 years GTP

Singapore Incorporate Company engaged in global trading of approved commodities are entitled to get Income tax benefits under Global Trader Programme. Concessionary rate of Tax would be applicable for the period of 5 years ( with Provision of extension) at 10% as against regular income tax of 17% on income derived from GTP qualifying transaction. Income tax concession under GTP is allowed to existing established company as well as newly incorporated companies upon demonstrating following basic conditions over proposed incentive period.

  • Conduct substantial offshore trading Activities
  • Incur significant business spending in Singapore
  • Employ 3 or more experienced trading professionals in Singapore
  • Use Singapore as a centre to conduct & support trading activities as well as make significant use of banking and financial services.

3 years GTP

Tax effect for this option and the 5 year incentive is the same. Except that the 3 year incentive has a lower GTP qualifying turnover, employment of trading processionals in Singapore and business spending requirement. The incentive may be renewed for a period of 5years after completion of 3 years subject to incremental commitments in terms of qualifying turnover, local spending and employment trading professionals.

5 years GTP at concessionary income tax rate of 5%

A Company can apply for 5% GTP on the basis of established a good track record of its operations in Singapore and can demonstrate significant increase in qualifying turnover, local spending and employment trading professionals.

GTP application must be supported by following information:

  • Projected Financials and business plan for proposed incentive period
  • Organisation chart of group to which GTP applicant belongs
  • Organisation chart of GTP operation
  • Resume of Senior employees of the company
  • Annual Report & Audited accounts of applicant company and parent company
  • Details of RELATED / ASSOCIATE COMPANIES IN SINGAPORE
  • Related / Associate companies in Singapore have enjoyed, are presently enjoying or presently applying tax incentive from Singapore Government
  • Strategic business functions concluded and planned over GTP period
  • Local Investment and overseas investments planned over GTP period

Above list of not exhaustive and approving authorities can ask for more information as and when required.

Promoters of PRIME have in the past successfully handled couple of GTP proposal which incl. 5% Income Tax approved for 5 years and are keen to look at accepting such assignments.

 

 

(注:此页为新加坡政府对国际贸易公司审批的内部标准)

Qualifying Criteria for the Global Trader Programme

Depending on the stage and readiness of potential appications, there are three segments of the GTP.

 

5-Year GTP Status (Enhanced)

5-Year GTP Status

3-Year GTP Status

Tax Rate

5%

10%

10%

Duration of Incentive Period

5

5

3

Renewable Incentive Status

Yes

Yes

No

Minimum Annual Physical Turnover

US$400mil

US$100mil

US$50mil

Minimum Annual Local Business Spending

S$4mil

S$3mil

S$1.5mil

Minimum Employment of Trading Professionals

5

3

2



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