The Business Council of Australia today congratulated the Productivity Commission on its report, Offshore Investment by Australian Firms: Survey Evidence, which highlights the major difficulties being faced by Australian companies doing business domestically and overseas.
The Chief Executive of the BCA, Ms Katie Lahey, said the report was a timely and useful contribution that underscored the importance of the proposed reviews of the international tax regime and the Trade Practices Act.
Ms Lahey said Australian-headquartered companies would always have to deal with the difficulties associated with distance to major markets, customers and investors.
“What we need to ensure – and what the Productivity Commission report has highlighted – is that Australian companies are not hindered in any way by outdated and uncompetitive taxation and regulatory systems,” she said.
“Presently, both the international tax system and the regulatory system are acting as a handbrake on the capacity of Australian companies to grow and create opportunity, jobs and returns for shareholders. The Productivity Commission report confirms the view that while these are not issues for all Australian companies, they are high on the list for major corporations thinking about where to locate their headquarters and where to invest.
“Importantly, the report also highlights that these issues will bear much more heavily on Australia’s major companies in the next five years.”
Ms Lahey said the introduction of the new tax system and the announcement earlier this month to press ahead with the consolidations regime and other outstanding elements of the business tax reforms had been a major step forward.
“The Federal Government has recognised the importance of the international tax system and the Trade Practices Act to the competitiveness of Australian businesses of all sizes, and has announced reviews of both. We are looking forward to the release of the terms of reference,” she said.