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The Philippines and Brunei Darussalam have signed an agreement aimed at eliminating double taxation and preventing fiscal evasion on taxes on income arising from cross-border transactions between these two Southeast Asian countries, according to a report by Philippine News Agency.
The agreement was signed by Philippine Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr. Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah, the Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II of Brunei Friday on behalf of their respective governments.
Dominguez said this Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion With Respect To Taxes on Income (double taxation agreement or DTA) is expected to further strengthen economic cooperation and enhance investment flows and economic activity between the two countries.
He assured the Philippines’ commitment to continue and deepen the coordination with the tax authorities of Brunei in ensuring the proper implementation of the DTA and the enforcement of relevant tax laws.
“This agreement will serve us well as we bounce back from the ravages of the global health crisis. It will further ease trade in goods and services between our two countries. Moreover, it will strengthen our economic cooperation and enhance investment flows and economic activity across our borders,” Dominguez said at the signing ceremony.
Dominguez thanked the Government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, who witnessed the signing of the DTA, “for bringing this document to fruition.”
“I look forward to heightened cooperation between our two countries as we both exert all our efforts to recover from the pandemic and rebuild the best possible future for our two peoples,” he said.
Dominguez said the signing of the DTA will further elevate the “close, warm and mutually beneficial” partnership between these two countries that have enjoyed strong ties since both established full diplomatic relations in 1984.
The DTA will strengthen the Philippines’ commitment in the Asean Forum on Taxation (AFT) to complete a network of double taxation agreements among the member-states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).
On top of enhancing bilateral relations with Brunei, the DTA is also expected to create more jobs for Filipinos in both countries, given that addressing the adverse effects of double taxation can help bring in more foreign direct investments (FDIs) from Brunei to the Philippines or get our workers employed in Brunei.
The DTA is also expected to encourage the transfer of technology and skills between the two countries.
The Philippines and Brunei began negotiations on a DTA in 2001 in this capital city of Brunei and resumed the talks in Manila in 2010.
Following a series of negotiations and exchange of letters, a draft of the agreement was finally approved on August 5, 2017.
The DOF concurred to the signing of the DTA on May 24, 2019.
On July 12, 2021, the Department of Foreign Affairs endorsed to the Office of the President the issuance of full powers to the DOF to sign the agreement.