As a firm with a strong focus in Asia and the Pacific regions, we continue to see significant expansion of cross border business ties and in particular, migration to and from Australia.

We have a number of exciting joint initiatives that we are working on with our Morison KSi partners and the cross referrals have been strong and consistent.

In November 2016, a number of our directors attended the inaugural Morison KSi Asia conference held in Bangkok, Thailand which was attended by over 200 delegates from all over the world. We took this opportunity to strengthen our links with key global partners and especially with our Asia based firms.

In our latest Asia Desk Wrap Up, we share news from our recent events, work and learnings including:

1.       Hong Kong as a fintech hub

2.       Singapore as the strategic investment and business hub

3.       Australian based Asian high net wealth families and tax structuring

Hong Kong as a fintech hub

Friday 24 March: Larry Lam, Director of Business Services, attended the AusChamber Breakfast and Panel Discussion in conjunction with InvestHK.

We heard from keynote speaker, Charles Ng, Associate Director-General from the Hong Kong SAR Government. He shared an update on the exciting development of Hong Kong’s startup and fintech ecosystem, the international political and economic environment and the opportunities and challenges for Australian business dealing with Hong Kong and China.

We learnt how Australian start-ups can leverage opportunities within Hong Kong to grow their business through:

  • Benefiting from low tax and receiving support from InvestHK’s services and and other relevant stakeholders from the government and private sectors.
  • Leading financial marketing – world class banking system and stock exchange.
  • Well established infrastructures and major expansion projects – road, railway, innovation labs and cyber town.
  • Accessing new markets in Hong Kong, China and Asia by selling services and products to the financial services, telco and high-tech sectors
  • Mature and stable legal framework and regulations.
  • Accessing talent in Hong Kong, across a multitude of disciplines, including Financial Services and Technology, with many trilingual speakers (English, Cantonese and Mandarin).

In summary, Hong Kong is an ideal starting point for Australian businesses to transform an innovative idea into a commercialised product and expand into China and Asia effectively.

Singapore as the strategic investment and business hub

Andrew Lam, Director of Taxation has continued his participation in the Asia Connect series and recently attended a discussion forum on ‘Singapore as the strategic investment and business hub’ lead by Steven Yap of CE Capital and kindly hosted by Swaab Attorneys.

Some key learnings from the presentation include:

  • Singapore is a great strategic hub for further deployment of resources into other Asian jurisdictions
  • There are considerable government and tax incentives
  • The fintech and innovation ecosystem is on the increase

Andrew commented:

“It was a great and energetic discussion demonstrating the opportunities and challenges of both doing business with Singapore and in Singapore. The transformation of Singapore over the past half century is nothing short of spectacular. Their economy appears to be well supported, modern, and with a multitude of tax and government incentives, too many to mention. Singapore also has an extensive tax treaty network and free trade agreement network set to benefit many types of businesses.”

At Hill Rogers we have assisted clients doing business in and from Singapore. We have contacts with great firms within the Morison KSi family and can work in conjunction with these local firms to achieve great outcomes for our clients.

Australian based Asian high net wealth families and tax structuring

In the past 12 months, there has been a significant increase in high net wealth families enquiring about their private and business structures, from the perspectives of tax efficiency and risk, succession planning, asset protection and estate planning.

The topics of discussions generally centre around tax efficiency and risks, utilising the appropriate corporate or trust structures to ensure the family tax position is optimised. These structures address asset protection and estate planning at the same time.

The key obstruction to utilising appropriate structures often comes down to the lack of understanding by the families of the nature and operation of family discretionary trusts. In particular, how the structures are set up, how they operate, who owns what and how the wealth and income is kept or distributed. We hold private workshops for our clients and prospective clients to educate them on how private business and investment structures can benefit them.

If you would to find out more about our Asia Desk services, or to discuss our recent updates, you can get in touch with us here.