The Norden Association, which represents the north European region comprising Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, and the three autonomous regions of the Aland Islands, the Faroe Islands and Greenland, said all the countries and Hong Kong pledged to meet demands for transparency and information exchange, “as well as fight tax fraud on a global basis”.
Norden said the agreement is the 44th of its kind in the Nordic region and enables tax authorities in those countries and Hong Kong to request and obtain tax information concerning both companies and individuals.
Norden said for constitutional reasons, the agreements have been signed on a bilateral basis and will enter into force once they have been ratified by the region’s respective parliaments.
In addition, discussions between Finland and Hong Kong about a double taxation agreement, “which will contain a provision on exchange of information, are at an advanced stage”, Norden said.
Hong Kong’s secretary for financial services and the treasury K C Chan said the agreement would enhance support commercial ties between the Special Administrative Region and trading and investment partners.
According to the Hong Kong government agency InvestHK, there were more than 133 regional headquarters or offices of companies from the Nordic countries in Hong Kong in 2012. Trade between the Nordic countries and Hong Kong totalled some $5.6 billion in 2012, with exports “roughly double that of imports”, the agency said.
“The Nordic companies in Hong Kong are a vibrant and diverse group,” InvestHK said. Nordic companies are active in a range of sectors including telecommunications, banking and finance, trading and other services, logistics and shipping. “Small and medium-sized enterprises also flourish, particularly in the areas of import/export, information technology, design and other service sectors,” the agency said.