PETALING JAYA: High net worth individuals would find Labuan International Business and Financial Centre (LIBFC) a well-regulated business-friendly location as it provides access to the majority of the country’s extensive network of over 70 double-taxation treaties.
Previously known as the Labuan Offshore Financial Centre, it offers global investors and financial service providers a range of private wealth management vehicles.
Speaking during a recent luncheon session themed “An introduction to LIBFC and its Wealth Management Solutions” with the media, LIBFC chief executive officer Saiful Bahari Baharom said LIBFC offers businesses an opportunity to maximise returns as it was set up to complement the activities of the domestic financial market in Kuala Lumpur and the development of economic activities on Labuan Island.
“Our mission is to spearhead efforts to promote and market LIBFC as the preferred international business and financial centre in Asia Pacific,” he said.
And as part of on going efforts to ensure that LIBFC remains competitive and relevant, Labuan’s legislation is kept under review and where appropriate, updated to ensure that it remains current to the market and regulatory changes.
LIBFC offers investors the choice to structure a business activity either via conventional or Islamic financing, provided that the appropriate syariah principles are adhered to in respect of Islamic financing.
“This is not to suggest that Labuan is limiting its activities, instead it will continue to innovate to meet market demands to make LIBFC attractive enough for investors to unlock opportunities here,’ added Saiful Bahari.
He said the incorporation of companies such as holding, trading and shipping reflect the significance and bear testimony to the attractiveness of Labuan as an IBFC.
Strategically situated in the Asia-Pacific region, sharing a common time zone with many large Asian cities and a member of the Asean trade bloc, LIBFC provides an ideal business environment for trading companies.
Saiful said Labuan trading companies may mitigate the risk of creating a taxable business presence in other countries by virtue of safeguards in the Permanent Establishment Article of Malaysia’s Double Taxation Agreements.
Thus the IBFC’s wide offering of products and services and conducive business environment have reinforced its position as a vibrant international business and financial centre.
Saiful Bahari added that Labuan has been removed from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s black list and now in the “white list” of countries.
“No more adverse perceptions and no more untoward sanctions and this has levelled the playing field for Labuan to compete as an equal. The white listing means Malaysia’s full buy-in and support continues to make Labuan one of the most responsive, efficient, and structured and best legitimate IBFC’s in the world. We are poised to become even better,” added Saiful Bahari.
LIBFC was declared an international business and financial centre in 1990 and since has grown steadily both in reputation and financial standing over the years. Strategically located, it has the unique position to tap the many investment opportunities in Asia and beyond.
Sharing a common time zone with many large Asian cities makes Labuan convenient for business dealings.