There is no tax treaty between Australia and Israel, but the lack will soon be made good, according to an announcement by Joe Hockey, Treasurer in the Australian government.
"As part of the Government’s ongoing efforts to strengthen and deepen our relationship with Israel, we are announcing our intention to commence negotiations on a new Double Taxation Agreement between our two countries," Hockey's announcement said.
"Australia has a warm and close relationship with Israel, supported strongly by Australia’s active Jewish community, but we do not currently have a Double Taxation Agreement with Israel. This is holding back closer economic and financial links between our countries," the announcement continued, "A tax treaty with Israel would reduce the incidence of double taxation, provide greater tax certainty for businesses and enhance the integrity of both countries’ tax systems.
"The level of foreign investment from Israel in Australia has tripled over the last three years. There is great potential to build on this.
"There are opportunities for Australian companies to take greater advantage of Israel’s knowledge-based economy - particularly in areas of biotechnology, ICT, education and training. A Double Taxation Agreement would also encourage Israeli companies to view Australia as a regional base and as a supplier of sophisticated goods and services."
Welcoming the announcement, Australian Ambassador to Israel Dave Sharma said, "This Double Taxation Agreement will help to realize the economic potential of the already-strong bilateral relationship. It will serve to strengthen our economic and financial links across a range of sectors, including high-tech, agri-tech, financial services, energy, oil and gas, and health and pharmaceuticals."
According to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, two-way trade between Australia and Israel was worth A$919 million in 2013.
Newly installed Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is noted for his pro-Israel stance.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on September 17, 2015
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