“There is labour shortage in certain segments”

An interview with Thomas Ilkow, Managing Director, with responsibility for Eastern Europe and the Middle East, Bosch Rexroth

How does Bosch Rexroth operate in Eastern Europe?

Bosch Rexroth operates in ten sales areas worldwide. My region is geographically the largest area with 42 countries, stretching from Karlovy Vary to Kamchatka and from Riga to Abu Dhabi. We are differently positioned in all countries. We operate distribution companies in Russia, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Turkey and Romania; service points and customizing centres complete the presence in these countries.

Read the complete interview here.


“Labour shortage is the number one investment obstacle”

An interview with René Harun, Managing Director, AHK Services s.r.o., a subsidiary of the German-Czech Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AHK)

How many German companies are active in the Czech Republic today?

How many of these manufacture in the country? According to our information, there are about 4,000 companies with German equity participation in the Czech Republic, of which about half are manufacturing in the country. This is a considerable amount, especially compared to the size and importance of other countries, such as Russia or China.

Read the complete interview here


India Income Tax Calculator for AY 2019-20

The last date for filing income tax returns in India for the financial year (FY) 2018-19 (and assessment year 2019-20) is July 31, 2019. 

Filing of ITR is a mandatory obligation where tax payers detail their annual income from salary and other sources, allowances and reliefs claimed, and investments.  

In addition to the tax and surcharge, the government levies health and education cess at 4 percent on the total tax computed.

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Karnataka Shops and Establishment Act, 1962: Scope, Registration, and Compliance

Karnataka Shops and Establishment Act registration is a mandatory requirement for all companies, persons, and legal entities planning to set up a shop or commercial establishment in the state.

The Act is an important document for employers and their human resources (HR) departments in the state. The Act regulates commercial establishments in areas such as working hours prescribed for employees, annual leaves with wages, wages and compensation, employment of women and children, and other aspects.  

Read the complete article here


Personal Income Tax in Vietnam: Exemptions and Reductions

For foreigners working in Vietnam, determining the applicability of personal income tax (PIT) involves decoding a number of rules. Following this, foreign workers need to calculate their precise liability and any applicable deductions.

Consulting with an in-country tax specialist can help individuals’ optimize their tax exposure, while employers’ may be able to identify more competitive salary packages with an advisor. Below we introduce the basics of PIT, before explaining tax-exempt incomes (employment benefits that are not subject to PIT) and tax reductions for dependents.

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The New Foreign Investment Law in China – New Issue of China Briefing Magazine

Looking to restore the confidence of foreign investors, China passed a new Foreign Investment Law in March this year.

The law establishes a new framework to govern foreign investment in China and addresses a number of common concerns among overseas businesses. 

Critics, however, have questioned the extent to which the law addresses these issues in practice, pointing to the law’s at times broad and vague language.

To make sense of the changes, this issue of China Briefing magazine offers a comprehensive analysis of China’s new Foreign Investment Law.

Read the complete briefing here


Business Relocation in China: How to Manage Legal, Tax, and HR Concerns

When a business decides to relocate, and picks a site after careful analysis and comparison, the next step is to develop a suitable relocation strategy on the operational level. This entails a number of regulatory formalities and compliance issues that a business needs to treat carefully ahead of the relocation, namely in regards to legal, tax, and human resource (HR) considerations.

HR considerations

Based on the relocation strategy adopted by the company, current employees could be managed in different ways. A company may want to continue the employment relationship to save the hassle of recruitment during same city relocation, which is generally achieved by providing necessary support for new commutes, and amending labor contracts.

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Ghana’s aluminium fabrication market

SOTM by africon

Overall, the aluminium profiles market in Ghana has a pyramid shape, with a large budget and a relatively smaller but still significant premium segment. As for other building materials, especially the premium segment holds interesting opportunities for firms from Europe and elsewhere.

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The Current Business Environment on the Ground in Hong Kong

Over-reliance on tax as an incentive 

Hong Kong’s taxes are still low (the profits tax is 16.5 percent); however, taxes are coming down in the Asian region anyway. Selling a low tax jurisdiction is not enough to make Hong Kong attractive. An example of this is the low individual income tax offered to attract foreign talent into nine mainland cities in the Greater Bay Area.

Read the complete article here


Vietnam’s Competition Law and its Impact on Foreign Companies

Vietnam’s Law on Competition came into effect on July 1, 2019, replacing the 2004 version of the law. In June 2018, Vietnam passed the new regulation, which focuses on competition restraining agreements, market dominance, economic concentration, and unfair practices.

Scope of the law

The new law has expanded its scope and now includes both Vietnamese and foreign companies and individuals in case their actions have – or potentially have – a competition restriction impact on the domestic market. A competition restriction impact is an influence that will exclude, reduce, or hinder competition in the market.

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Greater Bay Area Releases Detailed Plan on IIT Incentives for Overseas Talents

Eligible overseas talents working in nine cities in the region can enjoy a preferential tax rate of 15 percent – in line with the Hong Kong IIT rate. China Briefing explains the policy introduced.

To support the smooth implementation of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area (GBA) plan and attract overseas talents to work in this region, China has rolled out measures to grant subsidies to overseas high-end and critically-lacking talents (including Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwanese residents or “HKMT residents”).

Read the complete article here


Surprisingly Little Criticism on Import Substitution

Interview with Christian Tegethoff, Managing Director, CT Executive Search

How do the Russia sanctions affect your work concretely?

Executive Search is not directly affected by Western or Russian sanctions. However, we do feel the effects indirectly.

Particularly smaller European companies are uncertain about the risks of exposure to the Russian market. It certainly seems that companies tend to leave opportunities unused because they engage in other markets instead of in Russia.

Read the complete interview here


Russia: Everybody Should Return to Sensible Cooperation

An interview with Jens-Uwe Klemens, Managing Director, Quarzwerke GmbH

How does the Russian business go in times of sanctions and import substitution?

All in all, our sites are currently well utilized. We mainly sell to the glass industry and foundries. Interesting target industries are the construction materials sector and the plastics industry. In the last two years, demand has improved. We are even considering expanding our production capacity.

However, the market prices our raw materials are at a level that makes long-term asset preservation difficult. The prices would have to be significantly higher for necessary investments in products of high quality.

Read the complete interview here


Russia: Interesting Market Despite Challenges

An interview with Stephan Schulte, Managing Director of the Russian subsidiary of Symrise AG

How is Symrise‘s business in Russia affected by the sanctions?

Our products are not subject to any Western sanctions, but to the Russian on agricultural products, which incidentally also include salt.

We used to import our raw materials from Europe and the United States, but this is no longer possible. Today we buy globally or, if possible, locally. This is not easy, because many suppliers do not provide the quality we require or the processing levels needed.

Read the complete interview here


Foreign Currency Accounts by Resident and Non-Resident Persons in India

In India, regulations on foreign currency exchange are quite strict. Individuals and businesses transferring money outside India often run into issues with the tax and regulatory authorities. To avoid any legal implications, it is essential for individuals and businesses to be aware of the regulations while making any foreign currency transfer or remittances.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is the regulator of foreign exchange dealings in India. It prohibits, restricts, and regulates the opening, holding and maintaining of foreign currency accounts, and the limits up to which a person resident in India can hold the amount in such accounts.

Read the complete article here


Vietnam’s Visas and Work Permit Procedures

Vietnam’s visa and work permit procedures, can be confusing for first time visitors. Vietnam Briefing explains the steps and what foreigners should pay attention to when planning a long-term visit.

The number of foreign skilled workers coming to Vietnam has steadily increased in recent years, surging to over 80,000 at the end of 2018. Most foreign workers that come to Vietnam are employees of foreign contractors, working for, or establishing, foreign direct investment (FDI) projects, coming from over 100 countries. 

Read the complete article here


Kenya’s construction and real estate sector

SOTM by africon

According to Deloitte’s construction trends report, Kenya has remained the leading country with the highest number of projects in East Africa for four consecutive years, with projects increasing by 78% from 23 projects in 2017 to 41 projects worth $38.2 billion in 2018. The major construction projects are in real estate, energy and power, and transport, sources also reveal that the Kenyan government is spending billions of dollars on transport projects as Kenya is expected to become the logistics hub of East Africa. 

Read the complete article here


Minimum Wages in China 2019

Minimum wages in China continue to grow. Through the first six months of 2019, four regions have increased their minimum wages: Beijing, Chongqing, Shaanxi, and Shanghai.

Last year, 15 out of the 31 regions in mainland China increased their minimum wages, while 20 did so in 2017.

Read the complete article here


Provident Fund Scheme for International Workers in India

Foreign workers taking up overseas assignments pay more attention to the tax regime of the country when determining costs, and often tend to overlook the social security laws of the country, which are equally important.

India requires every business entity employing more than 20 workers to register with the national social security system, and makes it mandatory for employees and employers to contribute towards retirement and insurance scheme.

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How to Terminate an Employee in Vietnam

Terminating an employee can be challenging for foreign investors in Vietnam. Vietnamese labour law is generally considered employee friendly and the termination process must be based on statutory grounds, subject to formal requirements and procedures.

The Vietnamese labor law applies to all employers working in Vietnam under labor contracts regardless of whether such employees are Vietnamese or foreign nationals.

Read complete article here.


Human Resources and Payroll in China 2019-2020

A firm understanding of China’s laws and regulations related to human resources and payroll management is essential for foreign investors who want to establish or are already running foreign-invested entities in China, as well as for local managers and HR professionals who may need to explain complex points of China’s labour policies.

Read the complete report here


“Companies are dependent on direct search”

An interview with Christian Tegethoff Managing Director, CT Executive Search

What kind of assignments do you usually work in East Europe?

In Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Southeastern Europe and the Baltic we mainly work for clients from West and Central Europe, as well as the Nordics. These are either medium-sized companies or large corporations that have been active in the region for many years and often operate local production sites. There is some preponderance in the B2B sector, especially in capital goods. Our clients also include consumer goods manufacturers, retailers and health care or pharmaceutical companies.

Read the complete interview here


“High level of intercultural competence required”

Interview with Thomas Piontek

One of your responsibilities at Petrom was recruiting for the Romanian sites. What were the main challenges?

The biggest challenge was clearly the lack of qualified personnel in Romania. That is not really surprising, because 20 percent of the Romanian working population now work abroad. In today‘s European countries, you will find strong Romanian minorities everywhere – blue collars and academics alike. Consequently, the supply of qualified candidates is limited in Romania.

Read the complete interview here


“No Longer an Extended Workbench”

An interview with Adrian Stadnicki Regional Director Central Eastern Europe, German Eastern Business Association (OAOEV), Berlin 

How has the trade volume between Germany and Central Eastern Europe developed in recent years?

Germany’s exchange of goods with Central Eastern Europe has been developing very positively for years. The region has become a top partner of the German economy. 2018, Germany’s trade volume with the Visegrád Group and the Baltic States amounted to more than 300 billion euros. The Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia rank in front of much larger countries such as Turkey, Canada, Brazil and India in terms of their trade volume with Germany.

Read the complete interview here


Beijing to Raise Monthly Minimum Wage from July 1

On May 9, the Beijing Municipal Human Resources and Social Security Bureau announced plans to raise the city’s minimum wage from July 1, 2019.

The monthly minimum wage for full-time employees will be raised from RMB 2,120 (US$309) to RMB 2,200 (US$321). The hourly wage for part-time employees, however, will remain at RMB 24 (US$3.5) on normal working days and RMB 56 (US$8.2) on statutory holidays.

Read the complete article here