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Lou Jiwei

Minister of Finance, China

Lou Jiwei

Lou Jiwei, the Chinese Minister of Finance, wins a spot in this year’s list of the most influential people in tax for the sheer speed and efficiency with which his country’s VAT pilot was rolled out. While India and Malaysia have been heaping delay upon delay in implementing their GST systems, China just rolled up its sleeves and got it done.

Despite being the world’s most populous country, China managed to take a VAT pilot, which began in Shanghai in January 2012, and roll it out nationwide in August 2013. No fuss, no bother, it has even gone down well with businesses.

“The Chinese VAT reform will gather further pace, with more goods and services being brought into the successful national VAT reform package, launched in August 2013,” says Richard Asquith of TMF VAT. “We can expect a first draft proposal for the VAT financial services regime, including VAT on insurance.”

Not many communists make it into International Tax Review’s Global Tax 50, but Jiwei, who was elected Minister of Finance in March 2013, earns his place for the man at the helm of China’s vast emerging economy. VAT reform will help open China up for business and its pilot may prove a model for other Asian countries to follow.

Further reading

China unveils plans for national rollout of VAT reform pilot

China to roll out VAT pilot nationwide in August

The Global Tax 50 2013

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