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
Nov. 11 – After markets closed on Wednesday, the Reserve Bank of India, the country’s Central Bank, announced a series of new regulations that will allow foreign banks much greater access to the country’s domestic market. The domestic market had previously been highly protected against added competition from foreign banks.
In essence, under the new regulations, foreign banks will be treated the same as domestic banks.
In order to be eligible under the new regulations, foreign banks much switch from how they currently operate in India by upgrading from a branch to a wholly owned subsidiary structure. Upon forming the subsidiary, foreign banks are required to invest at least US$80 million (5 billion rupees). Continue reading
Nov. 6 - With rows of luxury brands, a stroll through the streets of metropolitan China is akin to walking through Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, New York’s Fifth Avenue and Champs-Élysées in Paris.
A closer look, however, will reveal that international labels such as Chanel, Hermes, Prada, Givenchy, Versace, Audi, BMW, Lexus and Mercedes-Benz outnumber China’s homegrown brands.
In pointing out this trend, The Economist quoted Bruno Lannes of consultancy firm Bain & Co. as saying that the “Chinese have become, and will remain for a long time, the most important luxury consumers.” In the same article, Bain estimated a 6 to 8 percent increase this year in luxury sales in the Greater China region. Value will exceed $35 billion, making Greater China, including Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau, “a luxury market second only to America.” Continue reading
Indian manufacturing’s share of GDP has been stagnating. Some of the industry’s problems stem from a business culture of hierarchy and bureaucracy. But competitive pressure is forcing a transformation, and the new management models now being adopted can change how investors and customers perceive Indian companies
By George Wyeth
As China turned itself into the manufacturing centre of the world over the past decade, many expected India to follow – but it never happened. The Indian economy did take off, but largely in services such as software development. For years, manufacturing’s share of GDP has been flat at 15-16%, and has actually declined slightly in recent years. Now, with the economy in trouble, manufacturing output is stagnating.
Many of the factors usually blamed for this are beyond the manufacturers’ control. Infrastructure is still weak. Financing is difficult to get, with high inflation driving up interest rates and bankers becoming risk averse. Labour laws make it extremely difficult to lay off employees; this discourages investment by global businesses, which are able to locate elsewhere. Energy is expensive and unreliable. Continue reading
In the face of a severe economic slowdown and an impending balance-of-payment crisis, the Indian business community has a clear opportunity to pull the country out of the current crisis. However, this can only achieved if the apex chambers of commerce restructure themselves
By Rajiv Kumar and Karan Pradhan
Oct. 21 – Just three years ago, India was viewed as another Asian upcoming economic giant, along with China. Now, instead, the country is in a severe economic slowdown with a potential balance-of-payment crisis. A plummeting rupee and declining foreign exchange reserves have led some experts to compare it with India’s 1991 crisis with its subsequent IMF bailout.
Certainly New Delhi’s economic mismanagement is largely to blame. But so is the Indian business community. In the last few years, it has abdicated the role it has historically played in providing the government with an independent opinion and pushing for the critical reforms required. Continue reading
In a nation of avid tea drinkers, coffee continues to gain ground.
By Nathan Barlow
Oct. 10 – Coffee first made its initial appearance in China when a French missionary in the 1890s planted beans throughout Yunnan Province. Over the next hundred years, coffee would go largely unnoticed but, as is the case with many things in China, the market has changed quite a bit over the last 20 years.
This is part one of a three-part series detailing various facets of China’s coffee industry. Part two, dealing with coffee trade in China, and part three, dealing with domestic production, will be posted in the coming days. Continue reading
Sept. 17 – Japan will extend an Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan to Vietnam this year worth US$500 million, according to Japan’s Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida. The announcement was made this week during the fifth meeting of the Vietnam-Japan Cooperation Committee, a forum for bilateral cooperation chaired by the foreign ministers of both countries.
The US$500 million ODA loan has been earmarked for infrastructure and educational projects in Vietnam as a key component of the Joint Vietnam-Japan Initiative. The initiative, established in 2003, brings together both public and private sector leaders in an effort to strengthen Vietnam’s investment environment.
The Joint Vietnam-Japan Initiative utilizes the public-private partnership (PPP) model to provide support to Vietnam’s service and retail industries as well as funding for infrastructure projects. It also seeks to address macroeconomic concerns affecting Vietnam, such as inflation control and exchange rate stabilization. Continue reading
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