December 13, 2017 12:00
The EU has told the Korean government that it could remove it from a blacklist of offshore tax havens next month if Seoul scraps tax breaks for foreign businesses.
EU finance ministers upset Korea by putting it on a blacklist of 17 tax havens where it keeps company with Bahrain, Mongolia, Namibia, Tobago and Trinidad.
The Ministry of Strategy and Finance on Tuesday said a Korean delegation is visiting EU headquarters in Brussels and met with Fabrizia Lapecorella, who oversees the EU's code of conduct on business taxation.
It quoted Lapecorella as saying that offering five to seven-year exemptions on corporate and income taxes for foreign businesses that invest in economic zones and other areas in Korea is "harmful" and discriminates between domestic and foreign investors.
Lapecorella told the Korean delegation that the EU could remove Korea from its blacklist in January if Seoul pledges to revise or scrap the tax breaks by the end of 2018.
"More talks need to be held, but if things go smoothly Korea could be removed from the blacklist in late January," a ministry spokesman said.
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