Australia Post says it’s looking forward to working with Amazon in Australia but urges Australians to be mindful when it comes to international retailers and the local economy.
On her second day on the job, Australia Post’s new chief executive, Christine Holgate, said that while she hopes Amazon will do well in Australia, she urges it to pay its fair share of taxes here, saying it was the “fair and responsible” thing to do, in an interview with The Australian.
The ex-Blackmores CEO spoke about looking forward to working with the e-commerce behemoth as its local delivery partner, but made mention that Australians should be considerate of the local economy and the contributions that international companies make towards it.
“Australians do need to think about something, which is, there isn’t a country where Amazon has made a large contribution to taxes,” Holgate told The Australian.
Holgate went on to speak about our local supermarket giants, Coles and Woolworths, retailers that analysts predict may likely be some of the first affected as expectations have arisen that Amazon’s initial products to hit Australia will include household goods like groceries and streaming services, which could take a $4 billion dollar bite out of our local retail economy.
“I really want Amazon to be successful in Australia, but I also want Woolworths and Coles to remain successful. Because they are actually employing Australians, put profits back into this country and are paying taxes in this country, and I think that makes a stronger Australia.”
Last month Amazon was ordered by European authorities to repay €250 million worth of taxes to Luxembourg after illegal tax advantages allowed Amazon to evade taxes for almost three-quarters of its profits, which enabled it to pay four times less in taxes than its local competitors. Amazon has been ordered to pay the full tax amount plus interest.
With regards to a partnership between Amazon and Australia Post, the local delivery carrier has been upfront for a while about high-level talks with the US online giant, which has seen a relationship between the two grow.
“Amazon and Australia Post have a very strong relationship,” Holgate told The Australian. “We have an agreement with Amazon already because they are already here working and there is a big opportunity for our parcel business to partner with them.’’
A deeper partnership with Amazon once it launches its full-fledged suite of services in Australia would present Australia Post with a sizeable opportunity to grow its parcel delivery business as its letter delivery volume continues to decrease.
For the year ended 30th June 2017, Australian Post reported its parcel profits increased by 4.8% (before tax) to $299.7 million, with an 11.8% downgrade in letter post.