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CHINA'S EUROPEAN ENTRY POINT - MALTA

CHINA'S EUROPEAN ENTRY POINT - MALTA

Dr Michael Tanti-Dougall is Senior Partner of Tanti-Dougall & Associates, Advocates a multi-disciplinary Law Firm established in Valletta, Malta together with his wife, also a lawyer, Dr Jacqueline Tanti-Dougall. He has been practicing law for the past 20 years having graduated as Doctor of Laws for the University of Malta.

The Law Firm’s legal practice includes company law, financial services, trusts, health & safety, aviation safety & security, competition law, M&A, intellectual property rights, franchising and litigation although where possible, mediation is encouraged as an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to litigation which benefits clients well especially corporate clients, since it saves much on time and on expenses for a settlement within the shortest time possible which is important and necessary in the business world. Indeed, Dr Tanti-Dougall is Vice Chairman and Member of the Board of Governors of the Malta Mediation Centre.

Tanti-Dougall & Associates, Advocates supports its corporate clients with comprehensive professional advice on Maltese Corporate Tax particularly in connection with investment-related businesses as well as indirect tax advice, including the effective use of the current 58 Double Tax Treaties enjoyed by Malta through corporate structuring especially for international business operations. Tax advice can be provided for companies related to cruise liners or super yachts registration, aviation, remote gaming, M&A, the film industry and with respect to company re-domiciliation to Malta. Assistance is also possible for the setting up of business in Malta or through Malta with a tailor-made corporate and tax structures.

Since the signing of the Double Tax Agreement between China and Malta, numerous Chinese investors have already benefitted from Malta’s attractive tax regime in the many and varied business opportunities which have arisen with Malta’s accession to the European Union. Indeed, Chinese investors are seeking to make use of Malta as a platform for their businesses to enter the European market and reach out for its billions of consumers. In this respect, it is pertinent to emphasise that Dr Michael Tanti-Dougall has been elected as a member of the Executive Committee of the Maltese-Chinese Chamber of Commerce which has been recently set up, inter alia, for the promotion of business and investment opportunities between the two countries.

Dr Tanti-Dougall opines that “Malta is indisputably extremely attractive for foreign investors and companies to carry out their business in particular for its excellent financial services legislative framework and for its advantageous tax benefits for corporate structures including trusts, benefitting from as many as 58 double tax agreement treaties. Every foreign investor in Malta would indeed be able to benefit from a corporate structure that allows him to enjoy a good return on profits whilst at the same time, benefit from lowest taxes possible, normally capped between 0 % to 5 %. For example the film industry in Malta has attracted many productions since the Maltese legislation provides film producers with highly attractive tax benefits which cannot be easily matched elsewhere”.

Notwithstanding the financial ‘tsunami’ that has weakened many an economy worldwide, Dr Tanti-Dougall strongly believes that during this current year especially from the third quarter onwards, there should be an effective increase in Malta for corporate re-structuring with more emphasis on tax benefits and tax planning. Indeed, Malta being a small island state has not been spared from the recession effects; however, in the circumstances, being small has proved to have its advantages and Malta has benefitted from a rather manageable economy which is slowly growing. This growth is attracting foreign investment.

For example, in launching its Green Paper in March 24, 2011, with the objective to gauging a comprehensive understanding of the online gambling market which is rapidly expanding beyond original expectations, the European Union has identified Malta ... despite being the smallest Member State ... as enjoying one of the largest register of online gaming companies mainly due to Malta’s favourable tax regime. It is pertinent to point out that in 2008 online Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) was deemed to be at 0,68% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the EU. In Malta, which has indeed become an i-gaming hub, the GGR represented 7,82% of its GDP followed by Latvia at 1,38%, Greece at 1,30% and Cyprus at1,22%. Needless to say, Malta cherishes such registered growth over other EU Member States.

He reiterates “in the prevailing financial situation, it would be only natural that corporate clients would seek more to maximize their cash flow availability by saving on taxes whilst at the same time minimizing their costs to partake on the local and European market with their products or services at incredible low competitive prices. Malta is making such a demand possible and China can benefit immensely from such a scenario to become even more competitive than ever before.”

Dr Tanti-Dougall is co-author of the Malta Chapter in a three volume publication entitled ‘European Competition Law: A Guide to the EC and its Member States’ by Frank Fine, General Editor, published by LexisNexis, an excellent point of reference updated every year by expert lawyers practising in the field of competition, M&A from each EU Member State.

He is director of a financial services company, trusts licensee and member of various international organizations which specialize in particular legal areas like IFTTA, the International Forum for Travel and Tourism Advocates and of MARQUES, the Association of European Trade Mark Owners which incorporates both trade mark owners and professional legal practitioners.

Dr Michael Tanti-Dougall has been described as “hard working with a vision for practical solutions”.

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