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IMF: ASEAN incentives risk 'race to the bottom' on tax revenue

Southeast Asian countries urged to join global efforts to curb tax evasion

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IMF Deputy Managing Director Mitsuhiro Furusawa, center, stands by as Indonesia's Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, left, greets Malaysia's Deputy Minister of Finance Johari Abdul Ghani during the International Tax Conference in Jakarta on Wednesday.   © Reuters

JAKARTA -- Competition among Southeast Asian countries to attract foreign investment through tax exemptions and incentives has proven "damaging" to their national revenues, the International Monetary Fund says.

Sluggish global growth and this investment battle waged by members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations have amplified corporate tax competition, cross-border tax avoidance and illegal tax evasion in the region, Mitsuhiro Furusawa, the IMF's deputy managing director, said Wednesday.

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