Carbon Tax ASEAN Taxation Forum — From August 1-3, the "ASEAN Forum on Taxation" convened, primarily enhancing cooperation and creating a better economic environment within the ASEAN region. This forum served as a platform for member nations to discuss and exchange experiences regarding tax and monetary policies in the region.
Under the leadership of Indonesia's Ministry of Finance, represented by Febrio Kacaribu, this forum provided a significant avenue to formulate strategic steps to improve the investment climate, optimize domestic resources, enhance tax bases, prioritize tax fairness, and reinforce economic stability within ASEAN. The theme Indonesia's ASEAN leadership advocated was centred on making ASEAN a resilient and inclusive financial growth centre.
The meeting tackled relevant taxation issues, including strengthening the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAA) network across the ASEAN region. Additionally, there was a focus on boosting tax-related information exchange under international standards and facilitating tax administration services for investors through online systems.
One of the current challenges countries face is the impact of digitalization and the use of crypto assets. In this forum, member countries also discussed the taxation implications stemming from these phenomena. Another significant issue discussed was carbon taxation, which has garnered global attention in efforts to mitigate climate change impacts. Member countries discussed strategies to address this challenge.
The forum didn't solely concentrate on general matters; it also featured specialized sub-forums delving into excise tax policies. The Sub-Forum on Excise Taxation (SF-ET) provided a platform for member nations to share experiences and lessons related to taxation, particularly concerning products like tobacco and alcoholic beverages. Countries such as Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam, the Philippines, and Thailand exchanged experiences implementing taxes on sweetened beverages in their respective nations.
The importance of adapting to economic and technological trends took centre stage in this forum, especially concerning new products like e-cigarettes. Indonesia and the Philippines shared their experiences in regulating and overseeing such products. In Indonesia, efforts are underway towards implementing taxes on packaged sweetened beverages.
Through the ASEAN Forum on Taxation, closer cooperation among ASEAN nations in taxation is hoped to positively impact regional economic stability, providing robust measures to support sustainable economic growth.