South China

The New Free Trade Zones Explained, Part IV: Fujian

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Fujian Free Trade ZoneBy Dezan Shira & Associates
Editor: Rainy Yao

Following the opening of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone (FTZ), China recently launched three new FTZs in Guangdong, Tianjin and Fujian, along with the release of the Negative List for Foreign Investment applicable to the four FTZs.

In this last part of the Free Trade Zone series, we concentrate on the Fujian FTZ, which mainly aims to strengthen the province’s cooperation and economic ties with Taiwan and further open up its financial sector for foreign investment. The beneficial policies that stimulate integration with Taiwan offer interesting opportunities for foreign investors that also have a presence there.

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Hong Kong’s Business Environment & Costs Compared with Singapore

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China-SG-HKOp/Ed by Chris Devonshire-Ellis

Part Seven in our series comparing ASEAN business costs with China

Singapore is the de facto financial and services hub for ASEAN, and as a city state with such a remit it is more pertinent to compare the dynamics of Singapore with Hong Kong rather than China as a whole. The two cities compete with each other – yet how do they stack up when compared? 

In fact, since Hong Kong’s return to mainland China in 1997, its positioning as a services hub has retrenched from Asia to being almost exclusively the gateway to mainland China, and a bridge between China and Taiwan. Singapore meanwhile has forged ahead with its ASEAN ties, and has become a regional hub for the bloc, meaning that today a clear distinction can be drawn between the markets they serve. Although a little simplistic, the general rule of thumb that Hong Kong services the mainland, and Singapore ASEAN, contains much truth, and particularly so when one realizes that Hong Kong is not included in the China-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement although negotiations are now underwayContinue reading…

Hong Kong Announces Enhancement Measures for Immigration Policy

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Dec mag imageBy Stephen O’Regan 
International Business Advisory
Dezan Shira & Associates

Hong Kong is now facing the same ageing population crises as Mainland China. It is estimated that by 2040, about one in three Hong Kong residents will be over the age of 65. In order to help alleviate concerns about this, the Immigration Department has recently announced that a set of new enhanced measures to its immigration policy will be implemented by the second quarter of 2015. Essentially, these new measures are expected to build up “human capital” in Hong Kong by supporting the local workforce with foreign professionals and talents.

The new measures include:

  • A relaxation and adjustment of the policies for migrants under the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme (QMAS) in order to attract more foreign talents with international work experience or third or fourth level education;
  • A relaxation and adjustment of the policies for migrants under the General Employment Policy (GEP)/Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals (ASMTP) in order to smooth and streamline the entry and stay of such foreign talents. Further, the measures clarify several issues relevant to foreign investment in this policy; and
  • An introduction of a pilot scheme directed at second generation overseas Chinese/Hong Kong citizens in order to entice them to return to Hong Kong and seek employment.

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The New Free Trade Zones Explained, Part I: Guangdong

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705px-China_Guangdong.svgBy Dezan Shira & Associates
Editor: Rainy Yao

On April 20, the policy frameworks for the Tianjin, Guangdong and Fujian Free Trade Zones (FTZs) were officially published by the State Council, along with an updated Negative List, which details prohibited or restricted industries for foreign investment in all of the four existing FTZs in China, including the expanded Shanghai FTZ. The three FTZs were approved in December last year by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

Following this, China announced the expansion of the Shanghai FTZ earlier this year to include Lujiazui, the city’s financial district. In Part 1 of this series, we provide details of the Guangdong FTZ and explore the new investment opportunities brought by the new Free Trade Zone.

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The Automation of China’s Labor Force

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Roboscribe_KUKA_RoboticsBy Kelsey Ryan

The robotics industry is on the cusp of revolutionizing the way business is conducted in China; and the world. With China expected to have the most industrial robots operating in production plants worldwide by 2017, foreign investors should take note. China currently holds the title of the world’s largest market in the sale of industrial robotics, but lacks robotic density. Continue reading…

Zhuhai: An Emerging Force in South China

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Panorama of Guangzhou in daytime, Zhujiang New Town.By Rainy Yao

Located in the center of the Pearl River Delta (PRD), Zhuhai is one of China’s four original Special Economic Zones (SEZs) established in 1980. The city borders Macau to the south and is about one hour away from Guangzhou and Shenzhen by car. In the past three decades, Zhuhai has experienced strong economic growth due to its geographical proximity to Hong Kong and Macau, and is the only deep-water port on the western side of the Pearl River. In this article, we take a closer look at this emerging force in South China. Continue reading…

China Announces Three New Free Trade Zones in Tianjin, Guangdong and Fujian

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By Rainy Yao and Steven Elsinga

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang announced on December 12 that three more Free Trade Zones (FTZ) will be established in China, based on the model of the Shanghai FTZ, which was launched in September of last year.

The three new FTZs will be set up in Tianjin, Guangdong province and Fujian province. Each is to make full use of its geographic location and carry special local features. The announcement confirmed long speculation that a next wave of FTZs would be launched around the areas of the Pearl River Delta (Guangdong province),  Bohai Bay (Tianjin, Beijing and Hebei province) and Xiamen (Fujian province). Continue reading…

China Regulatory Brief: Injury Insurance in Guangzhou, Annual Inspections in Dongguan and Container Export Refunds

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China-Regulatory-BriefAustralia to be Exempted from China’s New Tariffs on Imported Coal

On October 22, Australia’s Treasurer Joe Hockey announced that Australian coal will be exempted from China’s new tariffs on imported coal based on the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in negotiation between the two countries. On October 15, China restarted its levy of import tariffs on coal after nearly a decade of suspension, aiming to boost its domestic coal industry and curb carbon emissions. Australia, the largest exporter of coal to China, was severely threatened by this new policy and opened an urgent discussion with China last week to seek a reversal of the decision. During the meeting, the Chinese government urged Australia to relax restrictions on Chinese investment in return.

Guangzhou Releases Provisions on Work-related Injury Insurance

The Guangzhou municipal government recently released the “Provisions on Work-related Injury Insurance in Guangzhou (Hui Fu [2014] No.30),” which took effect on September 1, 2014 and will be valid for five years. According to the Provisions, work-related injury insurance premiums are to be levied based on a rate of between 0.5 percent and 1.5 percent of an employee’s gross wages in the previous year. Further, employees suffering a work-related injury will be able to apply for a paid recovery leave of no more than 12 months.  Continue reading…

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