The Macau government Tuesday rejected the European Union’s “unilateral and biased” decision to include Macau in a blacklist of 17 tax havens.
The decision was announced Tuesday by the EU, in Brussels, and the list include South Korea, Panama, Bahrain, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates, as well as Barbados, Samoa, American Samoa, Grenada, Guam, Macau, the Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Namibia, Palau, St. Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago.
The local government issued a statement in response to the EU decision within a matter of hours.
“The government of the Macau Special Administrative Region believes that the EU took a unilateral and biased decision that does not tally with the real situation of Macau,” the statement said, adding that Macau was “absolutely not” a tax haven or place not doing enough to fight tax evasion or avoidance.
The statement insisted that the Macau government has been cooperating actively on the matter with the international community, including the EU and the Paris-based Organisation for Cooperation and Economic Development (OECD), in fighting cross-border tax evasion and avoidance together.
The statement also pointed out that Macau is a member of two OECD bodies on tax-related transparency and exchange of intelligence with which it has been cooperating proactively.
The statement also underlined that Macau’s new law on the exchange of tax-related information was promulgated in May this year, adding that Macau will participate next year in the first automatic exchange of intelligence on bank accounts.
In the statement, the government also said that was working on streamlining Macau’s legal framework on offshore activities.
Hong Kong is conspicuous by its absence from the EU’s blacklist of tax havens.