Ernst & Young MENA Tax Conference - London - 2 December, 2010
Middle Eastern and North African governments have implemented new tax regimes and expanded their commercial laws relating to inward investment. This was deliberated in detail at Ernst & Young's MENA Tax conference held in December 2010 at The Langham Hotel, Regent Street in London, under the theme 'Challenges and Opportunities: The evolving tax landscape in the MENA region.' More than 150 client delegates and Ernst & Young's delegates attended the conference, which also saw discussions on important tax developments and new tax laws promulgated in the region. Commenting on the challenges and opportunities arising out of evolving tax landscape in the MENA region, Sherif El-Kilany, MENA Tax Leader, Ernst & Young said: "The region has witnessed a series of tax reforms in the last two years and more are expected in 2011. Changes in the regulatory environment have forced businesses to plan their tax strategies in advance to mitigate risk resulting from fiscal changes. In addition to tax reform, there is a significant increase in the number and size of investments being made into the region."
MENA countries have demonstrated a sense of renewed interest in encouraging and promoting inward investments. They instituted investment incentives like relaxation of restrictions on foreign investment, tax incentives for R&D expenditures, special tax breaks for SME's etc. Further, most countries focussed their efforts in promoting FDI's in sectors such as energy, health, education, manufacturing and value added industrial investments etc. Also, some of the most prominent fiscal changes were seen in the tax regimes of Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Oman.