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Asia-Pacific developments: progress in making Australia a financial services centre


The government has a clear policy of developing Australia as a regional financial centre. The Johnson Report, released in November 2009, found that our tax system is the greatest constraint to encouraging financial transactions from taking place through Australia. This article canvasses recent policy developments and the prospects of progressing some of the Johnson Report's key recommendations: the development of an investment manager regime; the establishment of an Asian funds management passport; reforming the offshore banking unit concession; and encouraging development in the corporate bond market. Taken together, the implementation of these reforms could have a significant impact on the capacity of Australian financial services companies to capitalise on opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.

Author profiles

Geoff Weir
Geoff began his career in The Australian Treasury before moving to the financial sector, where he has worked in London, Paris and Sydney as a hedge fund strategist and fund manager. Geoff was appointed to the position of Director, Australian Financial Centre Forum, in September 2008. Geoff has an Honours degree in economics from Macquarie University in Sydney and a Master of Philosophy degree from New College, Oxford. - Current at 17 February 2011
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Alfonso Capito
Alf is a Senior Tax Partner and head of Ernst & Young’s Tax Policy Group. He has more than 20 years’ experience, with a focus on international tax. Alf has been closely involved in the reform of Australia’s international tax regime and is a regular presenter and commentator on tax issues, including co-authoring the White Paper prepared by the Business Council of Australia, which was used as a basis for the Australian Government’s Review of International Tax Arrangements. Alf was also a member of the Australian Financial Centre Task Force and an adviser to the Business Tax Working Group and continues to be involved in tax policy and design reforms impacting corporate Australia. - Current at 07 October 2014
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