On February 24, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) announced that it has received an official license to open a representative office in Shanghai’s Free Trade Zone, and will be the the first non-Asian headquartered dispute resolution institution to establish an office in mainland China. The license facilitates the ICC Court’s expansion and increased engagement across Asia after the recent appointment of a regional director for South Asia and the opening of the ICC offices in Hong Kong in 2008 and Singapore in 2010.
There has been a 12 percent rise in the number of Chinese parties involved in ICC Arbitration cases filed in 2015 compared with 2014, according to ICC statistics. The ICC has expressed that having a presence in Shanghai is an important step to widening its geographical coverage, not only to serve potential users in China, but across the whole of the North Asia region.
On March 7, China’s Minister of Finance Lou Jiwei announced that China’s VAT reform, which will merge business tax with VAT, is to be completed on schedule by May 1 this year. The reform, which started in 2012 as a trial program, will be fully extended to include financial services, construction and real estate, and consumer services such as food, catering, and accommodation. Plans to enact the reform in October last year were delayed because of the forecasted impact it would have on the complex target sectors. So far, the VAT pilot reform has been applied to railway transportation, postal services, telecommunications and certain modern service sectors such as IT, film and television.
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On March 8 2016, the Ministry of Finance’s Director of General Office Ou Wenhan made an announcement stating that, during the period that the VAT reform is being implemented, the preferential tax policy will in principal remain valid, and that transitional measures will be taken for certain industries in order to equally reduce the tax burden of all industries to be affected. Research will be conducted on tax support policies, and restrictions of investment into new and high tech enterprises will be loosened.
On 9 March, Chairman of the National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee Zheng Dejiang delivered the committee’s work report. It promises to quicken the pace of formulating a complete system of laws & regulations. It also pledges to develop laws affecting environmental protection, ship tonnage tax, tobacco tax, food, asset appraisal and revise security and small-to-medium sized enterprise promotion laws.
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Human Resources and Payroll in China 2015
This edition of Human Resources and Payroll in China, updated for 2015, provides a firm understanding of China’s laws and regulations related to human resources and payroll management – essential information for foreign investors looking to establish or already running a foreign-invested entity in China, local managers, and HR professionals needing to explain complex points of China’s labor policies.
A Guide to China’s Free Trade Zones
In this issue of China Briefing magazine, we examine China’s four Free Trade Zones and discuss the differences and strongpoints that exist in each of them. We begin by providing an introduction to the FTZs, and then take an in-depth look at the market access conditions, registration procedures and tax environments of each. Finally, we highlight some of the key considerations that foreign companies should be aware of when choosing an FTZ to invest in.
Employing Foreign Nationals in China
In this issue of China Briefing, we have set out to produce a guide to employing foreign nationals in China, from the initial step of applying for work visas, to more advanced subjects such as determining IIT liability and optimizing employee income packages for tax efficiency. Lastly, recognizing that few foreigners immigrate to China on a permanent basis, we provide an overview of methods for remitting RMB abroad.
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