Macau “never wanted to be an offshore centre or tax haven,” says president of Monetary Authority

7 April 2009

Macau, China, 7 April – The president of the Macau Monetary Authority said Monday that, “Macau has never wanted to be an offshore centre or a tax haven,” but noted that despite this the territory would boost its methods of control and international cooperation.

Speaking on the sidelines of the central bank conference of Portuguese-speaking countries, Anselmo Teng said that the Macau government’s policy had always been to cooperate with international organisations and that it had never been an aim to transform the city into an offshore or tax haven.

However, he said, that following the G20 summit, at which a call was made for greater transparency and tighter rules on the financial system, Macau planned to adopt international recommendations to improve control of the local situation.

Teng added that the territory’s legislation has “appropriate provisions,” but it had become necessary to “improve the rules” to reach the levels of the most recent international developments.

The review of procedures is on the agenda of the Macau Monetary Authority, which is the de facto regulator of the local financial system, and has already been the subject of discussions with the Bank Association, “directly related to improvements and adaptations of international practices,” he said.

On Saturday in Strasburg, Angel Gurria, the Secretary-General of the Organisationa for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said that Hong Kong and Macau were not on the list of tax havens after having committed to adopt transparency measures.

The OECD Thursday made public two tax haven lists, one of which was a “black” list that included Costa Rica, Malaysia and the Philippines.

The other list, called a “grey” list, includes 38 countries, which had committed to respecting these laws, but which so far have not. Countries on this list include Switzerland, Belgium, Austria, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco, Bermuda and the Cayman islands. (macauhub)