A Recap of Recent Business Events in Guangzhou
- Our Business Advisor, Ms. Therese Feng, had the honor of attending the Understanding China Guangzhou Conference from 20 to 22 November, the China-Foreign Chambers Business Exchange on 25 November, and the UK Business Dialogue with the Guangzhou Municipal Government on 10 December 2020.
During the last few days, our business advisor Ms. Therese Feng had the honor of attending the following events and activities arranged in Guangzhou.
Understanding China Guangzhou Conference
20 to 22 November 2020
First rolled out in 2013, four sessions of the Understanding China Conference have been successfully held in Beijing and Guangzhou, attracting over 100 former political leaders, prominent entrepreneurs, and scholars around the world to participate. The conference provides a crucial platform to demonstrate China‘s national development strategies and for the international community to take a more in-depth, better look into the country‘s road of peaceful development as well as its domestic and foreign policies.
This year‘s Understanding China Guangzhou Conference was co-hosted by the China Institute for Innovation and Development Strategy, the Chinese People‘s Institute of Foreign Affairs, the People‘s Government of Guangdong Province, and the world reputed think tank, the 21st Century Council of the Berggruen Institute, and organized by Guangzhou Municipal People‘s Government on the theme of “Great Changes, Great Tests, Great Cooperation — China‘s New Journey of Modernization and the Community of Shared Future for Mankind“. It comprised TED talks and 10 parallel sessions themed “New Infrastructures and New Manufacturing: New Momentum of Growth and China‘s High-Quality Economic Development“, “Financial Challenges and Opportunities in China under Dual Circulation Strategy“, “Great Cooperation in Post-Pandemic Global Economy Recovery“, etc.
China-Foreign Chambers Business Exchange
25 November 2020
The China-Foreign Chambers Business Exchange was organized and supported by several foreign chambers, including the German Chamber of Commerce and domestic organizations, and was held on 25 November in Guangzhou.
The purpose of the event was to promote business exchanges. Business introduction and exchange session was presented by different organizations, including Nansha Free Trade Zone of Guangzhou.
UK Business Dialogue with the Guangzhou Municipal Government
10 December 2020
The UK Business Dialogue with the Guangzhou Municipal Government was organized by the China-Britain Business Council (CBBC) in partnership with Guangzhou Municipal Commerce Bureau, Guangzhou Financial Supervisory Authority, and Tianhe District Government. The event was held on10 December (Thursday).
The UK Business Dialogue provided a forum for CBBC members to engage the Guangzhou Municipal Government on local policy relating to trade and investment as well as the cities‘ plans for GBA integration.
In addition, CBBC members were invited to raise questions about the local business environment, and they received feedback from the relevant local government departments. Officials from the Guangzhou Municipal Government, including Guangzhou Municipal Commerce Bureau, Guangzhou Financial Supervisory Authority, and Tianhe District Government, were present to answer CBBC members’ questions.
The above three events were all successfully held in Guangzhou. As one of China’s key National Central Cities, Guangzhou is an international business center, a comprehensive transportation hub, a critical interchange along the Belt and Road, and a significant engine fueling the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
With an office in Guangzhou and as one of the few firms which have already started to plant seeds in the Greater Bay Area since 2017, CW would love to help foreign enterprises to invest in this city, offering a wide array of client-focused, tailored services of professional quality, including audit and other assurance, tax, corporate secretarial and business process outsourcing, and advisory specialisms.
Written by Therese Feng, German Desk, CW CPA
FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENTS
Stabilize the Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment Mentioned in PRC Government Work Report 2020
A closing meeting of the third session of the 13th National People’s Congress was held in Beijing on 28 May 2020 and the resolution on the report on the work of the Government was adopted and approved. The key messages for foreign investors are the following:
- Promote a higher level of opening-up of the Chinese market to foreign investments
- Support further liberalization and facilitation of international trade
- Provide guidance of healthy development of Chinese outbound investments
Full text of the Report can be downloaded from here: Download Report
China’s Civil Code coming into force on 1 January 2021
China’s third session of the 13th National People’s Congress voted to adopt the Civil Code of the People’s Republic of China, which will come into force on 1 January 2021. The current Marriage Law, Inheritance Law, General Principles of Civil Law, Adoption Law, Guarantee law, Contract law, Property law, and Tort Liability Law shall be repealed simultaneously. It is a systematic integration and compilation of decentralized civil legislation since 1949. One of the key points of the amendment of the Civil Code is to strengthen the protection of personal information and privacy.
The State Council Issues the Overall Plan for the Construction of Hainan Free Trade Port
On 1 June 2020, the Overall Plan for the Construction of Hainan Free Trade Port, formulated by the State Council, was officially released. The key policies include but not limited to:
- Maximum personal income tax of 15 percent high-end talents;
- Corporate income tax of 15 percent on encouraged industrial enterprises;
- Exempt from import duties, import value-added tax and consumption tax on imported goods purchase by island residents;
- Conduct the negative list of cross-border trade in services for Hainan Free Trade Port;
- Conduct a negative list management system on the issuance of work permit for foreign employees.
TRADE, CUSTOMS AND INDUSTRIES
Further compliance management guidelines for online retail platforms
The China Council for the Promotion of International Trade has completed the drafting of The Compliance Management Guide for Online Retail Platforms. The draft was published on 5 June 2020 for consultation until 26 June 2020.
The Compliance Management Guide for Online Retail Platforms includes detailed rules on the online retail operators in adopting compliance grading, assessment, management & supervision of online retailers. It is suitable for online retail platform operators in evaluating and managing the compliance of online retailers applying for joining the platform.
EMPLOYMENT & LABOR
Guangdong Province’s guidelines on applying for China visa under existing travel restriction
On 28 May 2020, the Foreign Affairs Office of the People’s Government of Guangdong Province issued an announcement explaining the basic procedures of applying for an invitation letter for the purpose of China visa under existing travel restriction imposed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of PRC and National Immigration Administration since 26 March 2020.
Foreign nationals engaging in necessary economic, trade, scientific or technological activities may apply for an invitation letter with the local Foreign Affairs Office, which then can be used to apply for a visa to enter China.
Similar procedures apply to other provinces. Foreign nationals who wish to travel to China should contact the local Foreign Affairs Office.
Shanghai – employer subsidy scheme for training fees
All types of enterprises in Shanghai affected by the pandemic which organized online training for employees and dispatched workers during the shutdown period can receive 95% subsidy based on the actual amount spent on the training course. Platform enterprises (e-commerce enterprises) and new business enterprises are eligible to apply. (Responsible units: Shanghai Municipal Human Resources and Social Security Bureau and Shanghai Municipal Finance Bureau)
FINANCE & TAXATION
The Application Period for Preferential Policy of Personal Income Tax of GBA is from 1 July to 15 August 2020
In accordance with Interim Measures of Guangzhou for Administration of Financial Subsidies under Preferential Individual Income Tax (IIT) Policies in Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA), overseas high-end talents and talents in short supply who work within the administrative areas of Guangzhou shall be given financial subsidies if their IIT paid in Guangzhou exceeding the tax amount computed at 15% of their taxable income. The application period of this year for preferential policy in Guangzhou city begins from 1 July to 15 August.
Announcement of the State Taxation Administration on Matters concerning the Deferred Payment of Income Tax in 2020 by Small Low-profit Enterprises
From 1 May 2020 to 31 December 2020, small low-profit enterprises may defer the payment of corporate income tax for the current period after completing the filing of tax returns with prepayment according to the provisions in the remaining filing period in 2020, and the payment of all income tax amount may be deferred to the first period for filing tax returns in 2021.
Small low-profit enterprises refer to enterprises engaging in non-restricted and non-prohibited businesses, which satisfy three criteria simultaneously, namely, annual taxable income amount does not exceed RMB3 million, staff headcount does not exceed 300 and total assets do not exceed RMB50 million.
Written by China Consultancy Team, CW CPA
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to grow and evolve around the world, public and private sectors are scrambling to adapt to these times and take effective responses.
Whilst temporary containment measures are gradually relaxed by the Chinese government, the next step is to focus on mitigating the economic impact of COVID-19 across the Chinese businesses over the long term. This means designing and implementing measures to integrate economic reactivation, investment encouragement, and getting the country back on track. To do so – alleviate the economic impact of the COVID-19 epidemic-, the Chinese government have introduced a series of supporting policies at both central and local level.
On this occasion, CW was pleased to have been invited by The American Chamber of Commerce in South China (“AmCham”) to host a webinar that took place on 19 April 2020. More than 100 people and companies registered and participated in the webinar focused on business crisis management and the government’s contingency aid offer to Chinese companies. Topics covering everything from how to be prepared for and manage this disruptive and emergency, policies and subsidies related to FDI, to the role of the technology in the era, were discussed.
Headed by the president of AmCham South China, Harley Seyedin, and with the participation of Thomas Wong, Partner at CW CPA, and Victor Herrera, as the main presenter on behalf of CW, the webinar further enhanced our relationship with American companies in South China. This translates into a greater network of knowledge and advice to all foreign companies established in Mainland China.
For CW, actively participating in these open discussions means our firm’s commitment with our clients and all those companies running business in Mainland China, sharing valuable information and being able to provide the right services with the highest standards of quality and performance.
The American Chamber of Commerce in South China (AmCham South China) is a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to facilitating bilateral trade between the United States and the People’s Republic of China. AmCham South China represents more than 2,300 corporate and individual members, and provides dynamic, on-the-ground support for American and International companies doing business in South China.
Written by Victor Manuel Herrera, Latin Department, CW CPA
In late April, CW had the pleasure to deliver a series of webinars in Mexico, sharing insights, experience and knowledge on how to overcome business challenges during COVID-19. With more than 100 people registered for the webinars and many more watching the video recordings, these webinars resulted from the collaborative efforts with our strategic business partners such as InvestHK and COMCE Sur.
COVID-19 landed in Latin America on 26 February 2020 when Brazil confirmed its first case. Mexico confirmed its very first case on 28 February in Mexico City. Since then, governments across the region – including Mexico – have taken an array of actions to protect their citizens and reduce the spread of COVID-19.
With the new coronavirus spreading rapidly across all Latin American countries, the seeming difficulty to stop the spread of coronavirus and the travel restrictions imposed by some governments in the region, it is difficult for LATAM businesses to successfully stay afloat in these times.
In the next coming months, our Latin Department will continue organizing more webinars on various topics relating to the latest government measures in battling against COVID-19 and helping our clients in Latin America steer clear of any policy uncertainty.
- InvestHK is a government department of foreign direct investment in Hong Kong, having a vision to strengthen Hong Kong’s status as the leading international business location in Asia. Its mission is to attract and retain foreign direct investment which is of strategic importance to the economic development of Hong Kong.
- COMCE is one of the main organizations dedicated to promoting foreign trade, foreign investment and the development of technology in Mexico. It has more than 50 years of experience in foreign trade promotion and represents around 2,000 exporting companies which carry out approximately 80% of total exports in Mexico.
Written by Victor Manuel Herrera, Latin Department, CW CPA
Given the current situation of the COVID-19 epidemic around the world, we have been receiving questions about handling special workplace situations.
In response to the uncertainties that disrupt the working life and company businesses, on 6 March 2020, our China Consulting Team (CCT) conducted a webinar in collaboration with the South China Branch of the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in China (CCI France Chine). Speakers included our Legal Advisor, Lily Fan, and, Assistant Admin and HR Manager, Betty Pan. During the webinar, several human resource topics including employee wage calculations, employee assistance and labor relations amid the outbreak.
Written by Marant Caballero, Latin Department, CW CPA
Has your team in mainland China returned to the office after the coronavirus outbreak? Please do not hurry in opening the physical premises immediately if your team has not resumed duty yet.
Enterprises should pay special attention to the local administrative rules regarding the work resumption. Please make sure that your enterprise has followed the policy measures closely and completed the necessary paperwork required by local authorities to apply for resumption of work with a disease control team at the street or district level in advance.
We have summarized some of the general requirements as follows.
1. Prevention and control mechanism are in place
Enterprises should formulate and improve epidemic prevention and control measures and emergency plans. Accountability system and the responsibilities of each person-in-charge at all levels shall be defined. An epidemic prevention and management system shall be established.
2. Staff monitoring is in place
Enterprises must do a good job of employee monitoring and registration. Each employee who resumes duties shall have his/her health conditions and travel history within the past 14 days reported to the enterprise. For those employees who are from or have been to seriously affected areas, a record should be set up and health management measures shall be taken. They may report duty if they do not have symptoms after 14 days of observation. Those who are still stranded in seriously affected areas should be asked to postpone their return to the office.
3. Facilities and materials are in place
Enterprises must prepare necessary epidemic prevention materials, such as infrared thermometers, disinfectants and surgical masks, and set up quarantine areas. Enterprises whose conditions do not allow such set up should specify the quarantine observation sites and register with the local bureau according to the unified arrangements of the located city and the district.
4. Internal management is in place
Enterprises should do a good job of ventilation, disinfection and sanitation management of the workplace and the staff quarters. In principle, enterprises should adopt “closed-off” management and a flexible work system. It is strictly forbidden that unrelated personnel enter the workplace of the enterprise. Body temperature of all entering personnel should be detected. Enterprises should encourage the implementation of shift work, online work platforms, videoconferencing and decentralized dining in order to reduce the staff movements and the risk of mass gathering.
5. Publicity and education are in place.
Enterprises should formulate staff training plans for epidemic prevention and control. Propagandas should be set up in prominent locations of the workplace for the mass education of epidemic prevention and control, improving the knowledge of the personnel. Publicity and education should be properly done through multiple channels.
Prior to the resumption of work, the company should take measures to ensure the health and safety of all the employees. Epidemic prevention facilities and materials, such as quarantine areas, surgical masks and disinfectants, should be prepared.
CW is glad to assist your company to prepare for resumption of work. Once you decide to resume the physical premises for work, please let us know and do not worry about the administrative work involved. Please plan ahead accordingly.
Written by Edwin Yin and Toby Wong, China Consultancy Team, CW CPA
CW was invited to the 2019 Investment Promotion Conference of the Design Capital of Guangzhou on 26 July 2019.
The Design Capital will be located in the northern corner of Baiyun New Town (downtown area) for design-related companies, R&D centers, and industrial design offices. With Mountain Baiyun to its east and Baiyun Lake to its west, it lies in the leading position of Guangzhou-Shenzhen Technological Innovation Aisle and the innovation nodal point in Guangzhou Airport Economy Model Zone.
Four major design sectors, three service platforms with twenty-one programs will be laid out in an attempt to build all-in-one industrial and residential facilities covering such functions as office, business, exhibition, accommodation, and leisure. As a key municipal program, the Design Capital is positioned to be molded into an international brand cradle for aggregation of design industries in Guangzhou-Hong Kong-Macao Great Bay Area, the first trade center for the Belt and Road Initiative design services in South China and the first B2B sharing platform for the design industry in Guangzhou.
Written by Gabriela A. Lenis, Latin Department, CW CPA