Introduction to tax treaties across Asia In this issue of Asia Briefing Magazine, we see the different types of trade and tax treaties that exist between Asian nations. These include bilateral investment agreements, double taxation treaties and free trade agreements that have a direct impact on companies operating in Asia. The exporter must obtain from its national government a ”Form D” certification attesting that the case has met the 40% requirement. Form D must be submitted to the customs authority of the importing government to qualify for the CEPT rate. Difficulties have sometimes arisen with regard to proof of affirmation and how ASEAN national customs authorities can verify Form D submissions. These difficulties are due to the fact that each ASEAN national customs authority interprets and implements the requirements of Form D without much coordination. The China-backed deal is seen as an alternative to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade initiative by Washington that no longer exists. Read more: Joe Biden is hardly the Asian free trader also hopes that negotiations are underway with Myanmar (Burma) for an investment protection agreement. ASEAN has a similar free trade agreement with India, which is being phased in and is in the process of reducing tariffs to 90% of all goods traded between ASEAN and India. From 2016, import and export tariffs on more than 4,000 products will be abolished.
This will have a similar effect to that of the China Free Trade Agreement, as it opens up the Indian consumer market to ASEAN industrial products. Indeed, India has a considerable middle-class consumer market of around 250 million, although it is not growing as fast in the short term as China. The ASEAN-India Free Trade Agreement will also be extended to services, discussions are already at an advanced stage and a conclusion is expected before the end of the year. For more details on the ASEAN-India Free Trade Agreement, click here. The CEPT applies only to products originating in ASEAN. The general rule is that ASEAN local content must represent at least 40% of the FOB value of the case. The local content of ASEAN can be cumulative, i.e. the value of the contributions of the different ASEAN members can be combined to meet the 40% requirement. The following formula is used: in addition to the Free Trade Agreement between China and India, ASEAN has also concluded a combined free trade agreement with Australia and New Zealand, known as AANZFTA. The agreement, which will also be phased in, has eliminated tariffs on 67% of all products traded between regions and will be extended to 96% of all products by 2020. This is the first time that ASEAN has begun negotiations for a free trade agreement covering all sectors, including goods, services, investment and intellectual property rights, making it the most comprehensive trade agreement ever negotiated by ASEAN. For more details on this agreement, click here.
This new analysis proposes to examine two key areas: port facilities and competitiveness in the internet services sector. According to the report, reforms in these areas could increase ASEAN trade by 7.5 percent ($22 billion) and 5.7 percent ($17 billion). In contrast, a reduction in tariffs in all ASEAN members on the regional average in Southeast Asia would increase intraregional trade by about 2% ($6.3 billion).  India, which withdrew last year from the RCEP negotiations and expressed concern about opening up its agricultural and manufacturing activities to increased foreign competition, has been a notable absentee. ASEAN has a series of free trade agreements with other Asian countries, which are radically changing the global landscape of government procurement and manufacturing. It has, for example, a contract with China that effectively eliminated tariffs reduced to nearly 8,000 product categories or 90% of goods imported at zero. These favourable conditions have entered into force in China and in ASEAN home members such as Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Read more: APEC Summit: Free Trade in Asia in the Age of Protectionism It does, however, establish trade rules that will facilitate investment and other business in the region, said Jeffrey Wilson, research director at the Perth USAsia Center. . . .