Navigating China’s New Improved Green Card Scheme for Foreigners

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By Dezan Shira & Associates
Editor: Weining Hu

On February 6, 2017, the Ministry of Public Security of the People’s Republic of China (MPS) announced that it would launch a joint effort with 20 departments to assess methods to improve the practical utilization of foreign permanent residence cards in China. The MPS also confirmed that a new version of the foreign permanent residence card, also known as China’s ‘green card‘, will be available this year.

On the same day, President Xi Jinping held the 32nd meeting of the Central Leading Group for Comprehensively Deepening Reform (the CLG), where senior Chinese officials approved a set of reform proposals, including a decision to upgrade the security and identification features of the new green card.

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Asia Investment Brief: FDI Opportunities in Laos, Tax Residency in India, and RO Establishment in Indonesia

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Asia Investment Brief v1 (002)

Our weekly round up of other news affecting foreign investors throughout Asia:

ASEAN BRIEFING

Electrifying Laos: Opportunities for FDI in 2017

Laos has posted strong growth rates for the past ten years, ranging between seven and eight percent. Here, we outline opportunities for FDI in 2017.

INDIA BRIEFING

POEM to Determine Tax Residency in India from April 2017

Learn about the finalized guidelines for Place of Effective Management (POEM) regulations in India, which will come into effect from April 1, 2017.

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Understanding China’s Lifted Regulation for e-Commerce WFOEs Operating in Free Trade Zones

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By Tongyu Zhang

In June 2015, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) published the Notice on Removing Restriction on Foreign Equity Ratios in Online Data Processing and Transaction Processing Business (Operating e-commerce), which allows foreign investors to hold up to 100 percent equity in an e-commerce company. However, it was not until one year later that the first wholly foreign-owned enterprise (WFOE), Heiwado (China) Co., Ltd, a Japanese company, obtained an operational internet content provider (ICP) license from the MIIT. While the Chinese government provides considerable policy support to the e-commerce sector, the specific definition of e-commerce is vague and can lead to a series of problems in practice. For instance, relevant authorities hold a more reluctant attitude towards e-commerce for services than towards commodities transactions.

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The BEPS Action Plan in China and Hong Kong: Impact Assessment for Foreign Enterprises

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By Jake Liddle

In October 2016, Hong Kong’s government issued a consultation paper for implementing measures to counter base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) in the region.

BEPS refers to tax planning strategies that exploit discrepancies in tax laws in order to shift profits to jurisdictions where there are lower tax rates, often tax havens. While some methods are illegal, many are not, and can disrupt domestic market competition and undermine taxation systems. Because of their reliance on income tax, BEPS is particularly relevant to developing countries. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and G20 countries have formed an ‘inclusive framework’, which implicates over 100 jurisdictions to cooperatively implement the OECD/G20 BEPS package, a tool that provides governments with the means to tackle BEPS on domestic and international levels.

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China Regulatory Brief: Plan for Promoting Employment, and Development Zone Reform and Growth

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Plan for promoting employment during the 13th Five Year Plan period

The State Council has issued a plan for promoting employment during the 13th Five Year Plan period, which clarifies the guiding ideas, basic principles, major objectives, key tasks, and guarantee measures for promoting employment. According to the plan, by 2020, the employment scale will be expanded, while employment quality will further improve. New job opportunities in cities and towns will exceed 50 million in total, and the registered unemployment rate nationwide in cities and towns will be brought down under five percent. Nine specific tasks, including building a new-type employment model under the sharing economy, implementation of an entrepreneurship and innovation talent introduction program, supporting migrant workers to return to home to carry out pilot programs of entrepreneurship, implementation of an entrepreneurship training program, a program to advance the development of human resources service industry, have been identified to meet the requirements of the plan.

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Dezan Shira Reports Consistent and Strong Growth in Asia

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Chris Devonshire-Ellis

By Dezan Shira & Associates

Dezan Shira & Associates have reported consistent China growth in their practice and “significant” growth in their non-China Asian operations during 2016.

Speaking following the firm’s Partners Meeting in Shanghai this past weekend, Chairman Chris Devonshire-Ellis said, “Overall China growth for 2016 resulted in an increase in revenues”, while Asia operations year on year growth saw a significant increase in Vietnam, Singapore, and a substantial increase for India.

Devonshire-Ellis stated that while the US$-RMB exchange rate was a challenge throughout the year, the firm’s growth in China remained steady. He said the firm serves as a barometer for foreign investment flows into China as it possesses several thousand clients, a 25-year-old history in China, and 12 regional offices in China.

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Asia Investment Brief: The Philippines in 2017, India’s 2017 Budget, and Russian Trends and Opportunities

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Asia Investment Brief v1 (002)

 

Our weekly round up of other news affecting foreign investors throughout Asia:

ASEAN BRIEFING

Investing in the Philippines – What To Expect in 2017 

A combination of tax reforms and increasing growth are making the Philippines an attractive destination for foreign investment. We examine the parameters.

INDIA BRIEFING

India’s 2017 Budget – A Sober Initiative After A Heady 2016

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley consolidates, but benefits await for infrastructure developers.

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Open Sesame: China Announces Further Opening of the Economy

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By Tongyu Zhang

China’s State Council has issued a circular stating the government’s intentions to further open the economy and boost foreign investment. The circular is part of the effort to build China’s so-called “new open economic system”, with measures focusing on streamlining government administration, improving regulations, and reducing institutional transaction costs to create a favorable business environment for foreign investment. The circular is in keeping with the sentiment backed by President Xi Jinping, who has recently released statements defending globalization, and should be seen as a positive signal by the Chinese government to facilitate the opening-up of the economy.

While this infers a more accessible investment environment, complex global economic and political trends, in addition to China’s ongoing economic restructuring, may mean that foreign investors in China will face a challenging year filled with uncertainties. Furthermore, the circular does not set any concrete policies, but rather points to a general direction for the implementation of the measures, which may require some time to be realized.

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