HANOI – March 14th saw the rollout of Vietnam’s new online visa processing system. As a result of the new system, foreigners will now be able to register and fill out visa application forms online. The official website can be found here.
Previously, foreigners looking to apply for a Vietnamese visa had to physically visit the relevant representative government agency in their area in order to get the required forms. Continue reading
SINGAPORE - Last week, Singapore’s Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) announced it would invest in three new measures to support technology startups: a startup accelerator, an accreditation program and a fabrication lab.
The startup accelerator program marks a strategic partnership between Infocomm Investments Pte Ltd (IIPL, the investment subsidiary of IDA) and Joyful Frog Digital Incubator, a leading startup accelerator. The first accelerator program will take place from 20 March to 1 July. Continue reading
By Shawn Greene
At the so-called “Three Amigos Summit” in Toluca, Mexico, celebrating the 20th anniversary of NAFTA this week, the leaders of Canada, Mexico and the United States have vowed to expand free trade agreements between North America and Asia while pushing for the successful conclusion of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations this year.
Speaking at the summit, President Obama expressed a determination to keep TPP progress on track despite many in the U.S. Congress indicating they will refuse to support a renewal of so-called ‘fast-track’ negotiating authority, or trade promotion authority. Continue reading
Op-Ed Commentary: Chris Devonshire-Ellis
Jan. 22 – When it comes to making comparisons across Asia, and especially the various regional economies, a difficulty is in choosing a commodity familiar to all within this massive region. Typically, housing prices, cost of labor and even mobile phone penetration or the famous Mars Bar Index are used to demonstrate how economies and regional prices vary against the same product. Having given this some thought, while trying to maintain an Asian flavor in our 2014 comparison, we decided to choose a dish prevalent across Asia – Stir-Fried Prawns. It is perhaps the one dish that can be found from Northern China to Southern India, and all points in-between, and is therefore a reasonable barometer to try and ascertain how Asian consumers differ in their local costs of consuming what to hundreds of millions of people is either a tasty lunch or dinner dish. Continue reading
Dec. 12 – On Saturday, the World Trade Organization (WTO) successfully reached an agreement on streamlining customs procedures that is expected to boost global economic output by as much as US$1 trillion and create more than 21 million jobs worldwide.
Dubbed the ‘Bali Package,’ the agreement reached Saturday is the first ever multilateral trade agreement successfully negotiated by the WTO in its nearly 20-year history. Continue reading
Dec. 4 – A recent report by Forrester Research Inc. predicts that business-to-consumer online retail sales (e-commerce) in the Asia-Pacific region’s five largest markets will soon surpass sales in North America and Europe combined.
Most notably, e-commerce in China and India is expected to grow rapidly between 2014 and 2018.
Forrester Research, an independent technology and market research company, projects that online retail sales in China, India, Japan, South Korea and Australia will grow from US$398 billion in 2013 to US$858 billion in 2018 at a compound annual growth rate of 16.61 percent. Continue reading
Nov. 21 – The new issue of Asia Briefing Magazine, titled The 2014 Asia Tax Comparator, is out now and will be temporarily available as a complimentary PDF download on the Asia Briefing Bookstore throughout the months of November and December.
The opportunities to sell to the Asian consumer have never been more pronounced than they are today, and those opportunities will continue to expand and develop over the next three decades. Key to understanding and accessing this massive, dynamic new consumer market is the ability to understand the underlying tax treatments. To that end, we are pleased to present our third annual “Asia Tax Comparator” as Asia Briefing Magazine’s final issue of 2013. Continue reading
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