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PH, Brunei ink double taxation pact

  • The Philippines and Brunei Darrusalam have signed an agreement to eliminate double taxation and prevent evasion of taxes on income derived from cross-border transactions between the two Southeast Asian countries
  • The double taxation agreement is seen to strengthen economic cooperation and enhance investment flows and economic activity across the borders of the two countries
  • It will also strengthen the Philippines’ commitment to the ASEAN Forum on Taxation to complete a network of double taxation agreements among the member-states of the ASEAN

The Philippines and Brunei Darrusalam have signed an agreement to eliminate double taxation and prevent evasion of taxes on income derived from cross-border transactions between the two Southeast Asian countries.

The double taxation agreement (DTA) was signed on July 16 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.

Dominguez said the agreement is expected to further strengthen economic cooperation and enhance investment flows and economic activity between the two countries.

“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.

He noted that 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 is seen to strengthen the Philippines’ commitment to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Forum on Taxation to complete a network of double taxation agreements among the member-states of the ASEAN.

On top of enhancing bilateral relations with Brunei, the DTA is 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 from Brunei to the Philippines or get Filipino workers employed in Brunei.

The DTA is expected to encourage transfer of technology and skills between the two countries.

The Philippines and Brunei began negotiations on a DTA in 2001 in Bandar Seri Begawan 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 Department of Finance (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.

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