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ASEAN+ August 03, 2018 01:00

By Asia News Network

Govt eyes more taxes on ‘sin products’

On top of further raising the excise taxes on tobacco and alcohol products, the Philippines’ Department of Finance (DOF) is also seeking to stop the sale of cigarettes per stick as well as the use of e-cigarettes under its proposed tax reform package “2 plus.”

Documents obtained by the Inquirer showed that under the proposed amendments to the tobacco excise tax regime folded into package 2 plus, the DOF wanted to “prohibit the importation and sale of e-cigarettes.” The DOF also wanted to ban the sale of cigarettes per stick while at the same time including a provision on plain packaging, citing that it was “one of the best tobacco control practices in the world.”

The proposed tax package 2 plus will also “unify cigarettes packed by hand and packed by machine into one subsection” as the DOF noted that they had the same excise tax rate already under the unitary system implemented since last year.

The DOF adopted the proposal of Sen Manny Pacquiao under Senate Bill No 1599 to slap cigarettes with an excise tax of 60 pesos a pack in 2019, 65.40 in 2020, 71.29 in 2021 and 77.70 in 2022, to be followed by a 9-per cent increase every year beginning 2023. |– Philippine Daily Inquirer

Vietnam accounts for 8% of global cyber attacks

The Asian region accounted for 44 per cent of global ransomware threats in the first few months of this year, of which Vietnam accounted for 8 per cent, according to Trend Micro, a cyber security solutions company.

Hackers continue to rely on phishing campaigns by using e-mail containing ransomware. Business Email Compromise (BEC) attacks are conducted fast without being monitored.

It is predicted that BEC attacks will continue to increase over the course of the year, and total damage by such attempts could amount to US$12 billion, according to Trend Micro.

Statistics in April and May this year showed that Vietnam was in the top five countries attacked in this way, focusing on the finance and trade sector, said Myla Pilao, director of Trend Micro Labs at a security conference early this week. According to The Vietnam Information Security Association (VNISA), the growing cyber security threat in Vietnam requires Vietnamese businesses to take more proactive approaches to cyber security. – Viet Nam News 

Indonesia, Switzerland establish trade chamber 

Indonesia and Switzerland have established the Swiss Indonesia Chamber of Commerce (SwissCham Indonesia) to enhance bilateral trade, investment and other relations between the two countries.

The organisation was inaugurated in Jakarta on Wednesday in conjunction with Swiss National Day.

SwissCham Indonesia chairman Luthfi Mardiansyah said the organization would particularly provide members with a forum for collaborative dialogue, lobbying or advocacy activities as well as social and business networking. As of Wednesday, 47 companies had registered as members of SwissCham Indonesia.

Luthfi said investment value from Switzerland to Indonesia had constantly increased but there was more potential. Swiss companies operating in Indonesia faced problems related to ease of doing business and ease of operating businesses within the country, Luthfi said. – The Jakarta Post 

EPF chief, 4 others tipped for Khazanah MD post

Shahril Ridza Ridzuan, chief executive officer of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), is one of several names being considered for the post of Khazanah Nasional Bhd managing director. The Edge Financial Daily cited sources as saying that Shahril Ridza, along with four other people, are being considered to fill the shoes of Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar, who has left the sovereign wealth fund when its board of directors resigned from their posts .

According to the report, the other four names put forward are Raja Shahreen Raja Othman, CEO of Selangor's Menteri Besar Inc; Yusof Annuar Yaacob, CEO of Deutsche Bank (Malaysia); Charon Mokhzani, group managing director of Malaysian Industrial Development Finance Bhd; and Mohd Zafer Mohd Hasim,nex- CEO of Bank Pembangunan Malaysia Bhd. – The Star 


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