Green is the new gold
Off the back of the COP26 climate change summit in November 2021, the environmental, social and governance (ESG) agenda has climbed to the top of the priority lists of governments and corporates around the world. As a carbon services hub, Singapore is well-positioned to become a carbon services and trading hub for the region.
The Government’s aim to phase out the use of coal completely by 2050, coupled with its ability to fast-track net-zero emission aspirations and green financing plans outlined in the Singapore Green Plan 2030, will be crucial to unleashing the nation’s potential in this sector.
Shifting sands in the global tax landscape
Efforts by governments and corporations to clean up their act has extended to the global tax landscape. A recent landmark accord among the Group of Seven (G7) nations, as part of efforts to close cross-border tax loopholes, includes the backing of a global corporate tax rate of at least 15% and putting in place measures to ensure a fairer profit-taxing system.
Prior to the G7 accord, 137 countries, including Singapore, had agreed to these measures under the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Inclusive Framework.
What are the implications for Singapore? While it is too early to tell how the deal could impact the nation’s status as a financial centre, the rules could see a reduction in the tax advantage that Singapore offers large multinational corporations. A survey of CEOs by KPMG in Singapore found that around 4 in 5 Singapore CEOs see the proposed global minimum tax regime as a “significant concern” to their organisation’s growth goals.