A delegation from the Institute for Financial Services of the University of Liechtenstein accepted an invitation from two leading international universities – the National University of Singapore and the University of Hong Kong – to hold seminars in front of students, academics and practitioners from 14 to 18 October 2013.
Top 20 worldwide: the National University of Singapore
On 16 October 2013, Professors Michael Hanke, Francesco A. Schurr and Martin Wenz from the Institute for Financial Services gave a seminar at the Faculty of Law of the National University of Singapore (NUS) on the subject of “Global Risks for Financial Centres & Clients”. The seminar was organized by the Centre for Banking and Finance Law (CBFL) of the NUS, a leading international university and one of the top 20 worldwide.
Professor Martin Wenz, Head of the Institute for Financial Services and holder of the Chair of National and International Taxation Law, gave a talk on the subject of “Tax compliance of investors: different routes and tax law requirements”. Professor Michael Hanke, holder of the Chair in Finance and Vice-Rector Teaching and Learning, lectured on the “Regulation of risk management”. Professor Francesco A. Schurr, holder of the Chair of Company, Foundation and Trust Law, spoke on “Structuring and transmission of private wealth – a comparative analysis”.
Feedback from the more than 60 students, faculty members and practitioners in attendance was extremely positive, and lively discussions with participants on a range of specialist topics took place both during and after the seminar. Professor Dora Neo, Director of the CBFL at the NUS, expressed a strong interest in establishing a research collaboration with the Institute for Financial Services.
Global standards in tax law: the University of Hong Kong
On 18 October 2013, Professor Martin Wenz gave a lecture at the University of Hong Kong (HKU), one of the most prestigious universities in Asia. As part of a seminar organized by Professor Richard Cullen, he spoke about the impact of increasingly comprehensive and specific global standards on the structuring of Liechtenstein’s national taxation law, and the potential and forms of international tax cooperation. The seminar was attended both by academics from the HKU as well as by numerous practitioners from companies and the fields of consultancy and trusts.
One key issue was how individual and especially smaller states and jurisdictions can continue to position themselves as independent, attractive and competitive in the area of taxation in an increasingly global regulatory environment. While Hong Kong pursues a strong territorial focus with a particular orientation towards China, Liechtenstein, which essentially adopts a broader, more comprehensive approach, needs to pay special attention to the important principles concerning taxation that are set down in the Agreement on the European Economic Area.
What the two tax locations have in common is that, in spite of their proximity to exceptionally large centres of regulation, they both have extremely competitive tax systems and have actively pursued various forms of tax agreement in recent years, with a view to strengthening their position in an ever more competitive tax environment and ensuring they are fully prepared for the international challenges of the G20, OECD, EU and other organizations.