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Senior Korean official to protest EU’s tax haven blacklisting

Senior Korean official to protest EU’s tax haven blacklisting

SEOL: A senior foreign ministry official will protest the European Union’s recent blacklisting of South Korea as a tax haven country during a meeting in Brussels Friday, a government source said.

Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Affairs Yun Kang-hyeon left for Brussels on Thursday to attend a regular Korea EU meeting, a ministry official told Yonhap on the condition of anonymity.

“It is an annual gathering that marks the 14th of its kind. But as it comes after the blacklisting decision, the issue will likely dominate the meeting to be held on Friday,” he said. “He is likely to protest the decision.” Last week, the EU unveiled a list of 17 non-cooperative tax jurisdictions including South Korea, Macau and the Marshall Islands, saying that it is a substantive step to deter worldwide tax avoidance.

It said South Korea has “harmful preferential tax regimes” and did not commit to amending or abolishing them by December 2018.

No related sanctions have been announced but the decision is feared to hurt South Korea’s reputation. The announcement drew strong protests from South Korea’s government. Seoul’s finance ministry earlier expressed “deep regret” over the EU’s inclusion of South Korea on its list. A foreign ministry official said that it will “make diplomatic efforts to explain our stance through high-level talks with the EU or separate meetings with EU countries