China Outbound: Connecting Your China Business to the ASEAN Region

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Our Monthly Round-Up of Business News Affecting China-Based Businesses Investing in Asia

 In this edition of China Outbound, we survey the growing integration between China and the ASEAN region – whether in terms of low value-added Vietnamese products flooding into China, the use of China’s extensive network of double taxation treaties for optimizing international tax liability, or Hong Kong’s own efforts to adopt a free trade agreement with ASEAN. We also highlight diversity in the region, where a wide range of economic and political agendas comprise the ten-member bloc, giving rise to their differential participation in multilateral agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Is Your China Manufacturing Business Ready for Next Year’s Flood of Cheaper Vietnamese Products?

Next year will be an important one for manufacturing businesses in China. Fast approaching is something called the “ASEAN Economic Community” (AEC) 2015 deadline, which entails Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam all coming into line with the ASEAN community on tariff reductions. Of these, Vietnam is the big player, with a well-developed border with China, ports up and down its east coast and very close proximity to South China. Vietnam’s AEC compliance means that, under the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement with China, 90 percent of all Vietnamese manufactured products will be permitted to enter the China market duty-free.

Outlook on ASEAN Investment 2015

Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines are surging ahead of their regional neighbors, with FDI increases of 17, 19 and 20.4 percent, respectively, in 2013, according to Bank of America Merill Lynch. Meanwhile, Singapore continues to receive the lion’s share of total FDI in the region, which last year grew five percent to a net value of nearly US$64 billion. The city-state’s attraction for foreign investors derives not only from its often overlooked manufacturing base, but also as a channel for routing FDI into other locations in ASEAN.

Why Your 2015 China Business Strategy Must Include Asia

As we move into the tail end of 2014, many businesses are now starting to plan their China strategies for the forthcoming year. 2015 will be a significant year in Asia, with numerous trade development and incentive deadlines coming to fruition. These will have an immediate impact upon foreign investors in China, and in many cases will necessitate a change in business model.

An Introduction to Double Taxation Avoidance in China

China has made significant strides in the past five years in building up its regulation in the area of double taxation avoidance, as well as implementation assurance techniques. Following the 2008 Corporate Income Tax Law, which laid the basis for anti-avoidance in China, the State Administration of Taxation (SAT) issued a flurry of related circulars stipulating reporting requirements for offshore transactions, describing qualification as a beneficial owner, and dictating protocol for claiming treaty benefits.

Hong Kong-ASEAN FTA Could be Implemented by 2016

According to Hong Kong government officials, a free trade agreement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) should be ready for implementation in 2016. The first round of the trade talks were completed in July of this year. Hong Kong is eager to deepen its relationship with ASEAN. In recent years, the city has seen trade start to move away from the island as a result of exports from China now being able to move directly to ASEAN nations with reduced or zero tariffs.

ASEAN Update: Understanding the Geopolitics of the South China Sea Dispute

In recent years, the South China Sea has become a key area of concern for the ASEAN organization. In the face of an increasingly expansionary China, ASEAN has often seemed slow to react and unsure of what strategy it should pursue. While there are options in place, such as the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), there has been little unity in the actions of the ten member nations.

Trade Ministers Report Progress on Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

Trade Ministers and Heads of Delegation for the nations involved in the negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) have reported significant progress in the talks over market access and trade and investment rules. The recent talks took place in Canberra, Australia on October 25-27. After the close of the meeting, negotiators stated that “the shape of an ambitious, comprehensive, high standard and balanced deal is crystallizing,” and pledged that they “will continue to consult widely at home and work intensely with each other to resolve outstanding issues.”

About Us

Asia Briefing Ltd. is a subsidiary of Dezan Shira & Associates. Dezan Shira is a specialist foreign direct investment practice, providing corporate establishment, business advisory, tax advisory and compliance, accounting, payroll, due diligence and financial review services to multinationals investing in China, Hong Kong, India, Vietnam, Singapore and the rest of ASEAN. For further information, please email or visit

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