One-day conference attracted regional attendees for critical talks on investment and tax developments across Southeast Asia and Australia

Taylor’s, the premier educational institution collaborated with leading independent tax advisory firm, TraTax to organise the Regional Tax & Investment Conference 2023.

The one-day conference attracted attendees from across Southeast Asia including regional tax specialists, C-suite executives, researchers, academics and policy makers amongst others. The conference equipped attendees with expert insights into investment trends and tax developments across the region with an emphasis on cross-border investment and trade to empower well-governed reginal growth for organisations.

This focus resonates with current regional market opportunities, with Dato’ Che Nazli, Undersecretary of Tax Division, Ministry of Finance Malaysia noting during the Conference that intra-ASEAN investment amounted to USD21 billion in 2021 with Malaysia being the second largest source country for this type of Foreign Direct Investments.

The Conference coincides with increasingly broader cross-border trade, investment diversification trends and new taxation conversations as the region looks to rebound from the economic constraint of the pandemic whilst pre-emptively combating any possibility of an economic slowdown.

Renganathan Kannan, partner at TraTax shared that the Conference was particularly important as corporations would need to constantly monitor the full impact of ever-evolving tax rules to ensure sufficient documentation were in place for scrutinization by tax authorities. “Conferences such as this then become critical to keep business decision makers aware and up to date on the latest concerns and requirements.”

Similar sentiments were echoed by Dato Sri Subromaniam Tholasy, Special Advisor to TraTax, former Chair of ASEAN Customs Committee and former Director General of Royal Malaysian Customs Department. He shared “It is vital that businesses leverage on Free Trade Agreement (FTA) entitlements but in doing so it is important for them to have clear documentation. Businesses should also consider various schemes such as Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) that is being rolled out by the Government to ease business in general.”

The one-day conference featured 11 regional tax industry experts including representatives from Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Australia – all present in Kuala Lumpur to speak about tax and investment topics from the perspective of their respective jurisdiction.

During the conference, Thenesh Kannaa, Partner at TraTax, said, “The industry landscape is in a time of flux and there are many vital observations and important conversations to be had that could pave the way forward businesses, the nation and the ASEAN region as a whole. For instance tax policies – on this front I believe the Malaysian Government is now on a good track with its approach to making preliminary announcements on tax policies and initiating consultations with stakeholders prior to implementation – particularly in reference to the recent proposals for capital gains tax, luxury goods tax and voluntary disclosure.”

Topics that were covered during the Conference included an overview of tax considerations in cross-border investment and transactions, investment trends and requirements in the ASEAN region, regional tax developments, global minimum tax and sustainability, 2023 Malaysian Budget tax updates as well as regional indirect tax updates.

The expert speakers included Wim Wuyts, CEO of WTS Global; Eugene Lim, Co-founder and Principal of Taxise LLC, Singapore; Fulvio D. Dawilan, Managing Partner of BDB Law Office, Philippines; Mark Fancellu, Director of Accounting at BlueRock, Australia; Till Morstadt, Managing Partner of Lorenz & Partners Co. Ltd., Thailand; Tomy Harsono, Partner of Consulthink, Indonesia; Julien Tran, Managing Director of WTS Vietnam; Dato Sri Subromaniam Tholasy, Special Advisor for TraTax and former Director General of the Royal Malaysian Customs, En. Ahmad Khairuddin Abdul Rahim, Special Advisor for TraTax and former Deputy CEO of the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), Renganathan Kannan, Partner at TraTax as well as Thenesh Kannaa, Partner at TraTax.

Commenting on the Conference, Josephine Tan, Campus Director of Taylor’s College said, “We pride ourselves on being beacons of education in the classroom and beyond - extending across a vast array of subject matters and resonating with a broad cross-section of audience, and we acknowledge the value of qualified accountants who make meaningful contributions to the growth of the nation's economy. Various parties must work together to create an informed and efficient ecosystem that can contributed to the fiscal health and stability amid economic growth - the Regional Tax & Investment Conference 2023 aligns perfectly with this mission statement.”