Joining as an Advisor of our Latin Department in 2014, Luz Martinez developed herself to become Manager in 2018. Native from Leon, Mexico, she is a proud LaSallian graduated from the University of De La Salle Bajío with a degree in Business Marketing. Continuing her education, she possesses a series of certifications in sales and intellectual property and has lately developed a strong interest in business analysis.
She committed to providing excellent customer service and helping the community by bridging the Latin American countries with China, which is one of the major missions of our Latin Department. Under her leadership, she has been focusing on market development both in Hong Kong and in mainland China, especially for Spanish and Portuguese speaking clients.
Due to the pandemic situation, going online has been a crucial key to the Latin Department. Hence, she organized several webinars targeted to Latin American and European businesses interested in the Chinese market and has maintained a solid presence in social media.
Having previously based in our Shenzhen office, she relocated to Hong Kong and is now stationed in our Hong Kong office earlier this year. She continues to collaborate closely with our colleagues in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Barcelona and Bogotá where our multilingual professional teams are based.
If you wish to get in touch with her, please do not hesitate to reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Luz Deneb Martínez, Latin Department, CW CPA
The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a global infrastructure development strategy adopted by the Chinese government in 2013 to invest in nearly 70 countries and international organizations. The stated objectives are to construct a unified large market and utilize both the international and the domestic markets, to enhance mutual understanding and trust between member nations through cultural exchange and integration, which results in an innovative pattern with capital inflows, talent pool, and technology database.
This Belt and Road initiative has been presented in several Latin American countries, like Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Argentina. Recently, China decided to explore new areas of cooperation, namely the Health Silk Road (HSR) and the Digital Silk Road (DSR) – both have developed immensely since the beginning of the pandemic.
The HSR has been developed due to the necessity of modernizing and finding new solutions in the health industry amid the pandemic. The Chinese government is providing medical aid and food supplies, which was delivered directly to countries like Brazil, Colombia, and Spain by the Chinese embassies there. Some companies that take part in BRI projects abroad, for example Huawei and China Communications Construction Company, have taken the initiative to deliver supplies. The Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation have delivered relief packages to more than 150 countries. China has also been lending economic support to some afflicted countries. With all these efforts, China is striving for one of the main roles in the fight against COVID-19.
To accomplish its objectives for the DSR, China has invested over US$7 billion in loans and foreign direct investment for fiber-optic cable and telecommunication network projects. These investments have transformed connectivity in many countries across the planet, from Latin America to Central Asia to the Pacific.
Chinese companies that are already well established throughout the BRI, such as Huawei, Alibaba, and Tencent, have specific and concrete plans to expand in Latin America since the area is needy in terms of technological infrastructure.
5G technology presents a big leap in terms of development for Latin America. Two of the five companies in the world offering 5G systems are from China – ZTE, and Huawei. The latter has expanded across the region in recent years.
It is possible to see a trend not only for Latin American, but for companies worldwide to import Chinese solutions for both medical and technological aspects and to implement them in their countries. Chinese medical equipment, telecommunication and digital solutions are presented everywhere.
We can clearly see that the pandemic forces China to rethink its Belt and Road Initiative and ways for better improvement. Until now, we have seen remarkable results with several partnerships being formed as well as excellent improvement in health and technological sectors in Latin America.
Written by Rafael Fraga, Latin Department, CW CPA
PBEC ROUND TABLE DIALOG SERIES: GBA & LATAM Linkages – China Support for Latin American States during the pandemic
On 26 August 2020, as part of the round table discussion series organized by the Pacific Basin Economic Council (PBEC), our partner, Mr Thomas Wong, shared with the participants how China has supported the Latin American countries during the pandemic. Other speakers of the round table included Professor Andrew Chan from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Susana Muñoz from GBA Latam Trade and Investment Advisors, Sergio Luna from Citibanamex, Mr Robert Koepp from Geoconomix and Mr César Silva from NYCE.
Professor Andrew Chan shared with the audience that the Greater Bay Area is a way to integrate individual strength with different advantages and specialization with the geographical advantage of Hong Kong and Macau. However, despite strong support from governments relating to connectivity and freedom, the problem still exists.
The 11 cities in the Greater Bay Area have their unique advantages such as Guangzhou as a trading hub; Hong Kong as an international financial center; Shenzhen specializing in technology manufacturing and innovation. Each city has its vision, mission and value (VMV). However, no city can perform the role of a leader to integrate all specializations and talents. Therefore, we should focus more on corporate strategies and general management for better integration between cities.
From Susana Muñoz’s perspective, most of the Latin American economies have a trade deficit with China by exporting raw materials and foods. The way to expand trade with China will be extending product catalogues like products related to the digital economy, financial services and research development, which suit the needs of GBA as the area specifies in developing these industries. Moreover, the GBA possesses world-class infrastructure for the development of e-commerce like free trade zones, cross-border solutions and logistic centres. Therefore, cooperating with the GBA region can be a good solution to reduce the trade deficit in Latin America.
On the investment side, both regions should focus more on connectivity and strength. Also, the supply chain of Latin America should be more resilient and less vulnerable. Therefore, investment agreements can be key to achieve the above objectives.
As an opportunity for the Latin American economies and in particular, for private companies, Mr Thomas Wong shared that during the pandemic, many companies in Latin America have turned their business to online platforms. They would like to explore China’s market through Hong Kong. Therefore, it is a good way to invest in the GBA for firms from Latin America that would like to enter China’s market by trading with the GBA.
Sergio Luna from Citibanamex shared the major economic effects of the pandemic in the Latin countries which have posed a strong impact on economic activities. He expected that the economies of Latin America will shrink for about 8% this year and that in Mexico will be 11.2%. For Mexico, the GDP in the second quarter of 2020 has dropped around 17%. The economy hit the bottom in June, and now it has rebounded due to the effort of the export sector. Mexico has expanded its trade treaties with different countries and become a particularly important manufacturing base for electronics, with export of US$ 16 billion worth of manufacturing goods every year.
From the perspective of Robert Koepp, countries cannot rely too much on the supply chain in China. Supply chain diversification is needed for a more stable supply for the world. The Belt–Road Initiative can aid the process of relocation of factories to other countries like Vietnam and Indonesia where infrastructures are limited.
In terms of technological connection between Latin America and the Greater Bay Area, companies like NYCE assist Asian manufacturers to gain access to Latin American countries like Mexico, Colombia, and Panama for business development. The e-commerce has experienced a huge regulatory change last year. The change in regulations requires certification of products before exporting to Latin America for the safety of the products. As Latin American countries are starting to strengthen export regulations and adopt international standards, NYCE helps the manufacturers to understand the regulations to smooth the process of export.
Written by Luz Martinez, Latin Department, CW CPA
On 26 September 2020, CW held a webinar centering around the e-commerce opportunities in the Greater Bay Area, launching a new project partnering with Mini-Home Media Limited, operating the China Travel Bus E-Commerce platform (wholly owned by China Travel Group, a Chinese state-owned company) will allow us to enter the cross-border e-commerce industry.
Mr. Thomas Wong, partner of CW, made the following opening remark in Spanish, thanking the attendees and organizers of the event.
“I embarked on my Latino journey 15 years ago, starting with a Spanish-speaking colleague who built what we now know as the Latino Department. Today we continue to work hard to unite both markets, striving to promote the Greater Bay Area among our Colombian friends. But our journey is not over, it has only just begun.”
In the webinar we have shared with all our friends in Colombia how ties can be strengthened through our online e-commerce platform, and help Colombian producers and manufacturers reach the Chinese market.
“The good news is that we can all enjoy and benefit from this. CW’s new project will provide you with ways to advertise your products from Colombia to China, especially to consumers in the Greater Bay Area. This area integrates Hong Kong, Macao and Canton and represents 12% of China’s Gross Domestic Product.” Mr Wong said.
For more information about the e-commerce platform or further question please kindly contact our Partner Mr. Thomas Wong at the following email: email@example.com.
Written by Marant Caballero, Latin Department, CW CPA
Lizeida Martinez de Saylor – A Panamanian accountant with experience in the U.S.
Our colleague, Lizeida Martinez de Saylor, is from Panama. She is fluent in both English and Spanish. She studied Business administration and concentrated in Finance and International Business at the University of Panama. Lizeida also possesses a Master’s degree in Accounting from Long Island University in New York City.
Before joining CW, she worked as Property Manager Assistant and Bookkeeper at the largest private student housing owner on Temple University’s Campus, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was responsible for maintaining the daily financial ledger and ensuring the business to be operated at an optimal level.
Lizeida obtained valuable experience in the audit department of one of the top 25 largest accounting firms in Manhattan in New York City. She helped audit both public and private companies from a number of industries, such as real estate, manufacturing, service, and manufacturing.
Lizeida moved to Hong Kong a year ago and was looking for new experience and opportunities to grow personally and professionally. She joined our Latin Department since March this year.
“One of the things that I find most interesting about my job is being able to use my native language and understanding of Latin culture and businesses to help clients from a variety of Latin American countries. I receive great satisfaction in helping others and this is one of my defining traits. CW has given me the opportunity to provide valuable accounting services and insight to my fellow Latinos interested in exploring Hong Kong and China for business.”
Written by Lizeida Martinez de Saylor, Latin Department, CW CPA
Over the past couple of years, CW has been part of a global association of accounting and consulting firms – Allinial Global, offering our clients more value-added services with the knowledge of professional firms that are part of this organization. To further strengthen our ties with Latin American clients, CW is now organizing joint events, promoting services and knowledge together with several Allinial Global Latin American member firms.
On 20 August 2020, our Latin Department hosted a webinar titled “Post Covid-19 Business Restructuring” together with LawBiz Consulting Group, an Allinial Global member firm in Mexico. The webinar aimed at responding to the Covid-19 challenges, which require companies to reorganize and restructure their operations in every way. Led by 3 specialists from Mexico, the United Kingdom and China, a lively dialogue was held on the main considerations that a Latin American company must take into account if it wants to remain competitive facing the new world order in the economic, legal, financial and technological matters.
Our Assistant Manager of CW Latin Department, Victor Herrera, presented the reality about the challenges and approaches that China had to adopt to overcome the crisis, keep companies competitive and continue to attract foreign investments.
CW will continue organizing conferences and webinars in association with the most representative regional accounting and consulting firms from Allinial Global, leading projects that allow the entire client base to be updated and interested in internationalizing their operations.
Written by David Barriga, Latin Department, CW CPA
Brazilian agricultural exports have risen in the past 20 years, becoming half of Brazil’s total exports to China. The exploding demand for animal proteins (meat, fish and dairy products) from China’s emerging middle class has met with a huge supply of Brazilian soybeans, the main source of protein in animal feed. From 2000 to 2020, the import of Brazilian agri-product jumped from 2% to 35% of the total import volume of agri-product in China. Today, Brazil ranks first in Chinese imports of soybeans, cellulose, sugar, cotton, and beef and poultry. In the contrary, China is the destination of 39.6% of exports from Brazil and 16 out of the 27 Brazilian states export agricultural products to China. The relationship of Brazil and China has been strengthened in the past few years and continues to develop.
On 5 August 2020, our cooperation partner, China – Brazil Chamber of Commerce, held a webinar about the opportunities and future perspectives of agribusiness in Brazil and China. The event was attended by Mr. Xu Yuansheng, Commercial Consul of China in Rio de Janeiro, as well as important players in the agricultural market. The main topic of this webinar was to explore how Brazilian companies can prepare to meet the Chinese demand in the coming years. The webinar presented how he massive Chinese investment in agritechs has been a new trend in Brazil and has been providing solutions to the commodities production in Brazil and around the world. With China’s support, Brazil will be the pioneer in the area of agritechs.
Although the world is affected by the pandemic, the bond between Brazil and China has become stronger and Brazil is expecting to break another record in exports. It is important to mention that the partnership Brazil – China comes from a long time ago and it is supported by both governments, whose goals are to mutually develop both countries and have maintain this partnership strong and consolidated.
Written by Kemelly Morais Vera, Brazil Desk, CW CPA
A heart without dreams is like a bird without feathers. My Latin American dream took off 15 years ago and it has been actualised to the fullest potential and beyond. I still remember how the idea started simply with the jazzy tunes of Latin American guitarist Carlos Santana and the book “Blue Ocean Strategy”, which inspired me to create and open up an uncontested new market space.
In this new age of information-seeking paradigms, globalisation is the norm. As Latin American small and medium-sized enterprises are encouraged to participate in the global industrial chain, our Latin department has strived to sustain high-quality advisory and audit services in the midst of ever-changing global landscape. Our growing multicultural team with expert advisors from Mexico, Panama, Colombia, Brazil and Spain has become our key strength, as people are always the fundamental differentiating asset in the market.
In the last years, our team of experts have helped hundreds of Latin American companies to expand their business to Hong Kong and subsequently mainland China, successfully striking a balance between service quality and the geographic dispersion of service activities. Up till now, more than 200 of our firm’s clients are Latin American and European clients who trust me very much. Doing business with Latin America is no less challenging than when I embarked on the Latin journey 15 years ago.
Under the new growth model driven by innovation and domestic consumption, the business relationship between mainland China and Latin America has ushered in a new era. I have firmly committed to the philosophy of doing business in the spirit of friendship. We established an extensive network of Latin American and Spanish contacts around the world. There are various institutions in the network, including consulates, Trade promotion offices, chambers of commerce, banks, law firms, etc..
2020 has been a year of significant economic, social and environmental challenges. Our overseas business has grown steadily in mainland China despite the occurrence of COVID-19, social distancing and travel restrictions. Looking ahead, it is high time our firm had the courage to take a daring lead and turn a threat into an opportunity. With many countries imposing travel restrictions, we are helping Latin American clients to perform administrative functions in China, eliminating their need to fly here physically. Our Latin Department will continue organizing webinars on various topics relating to the latest government measures in battling against COVID-19. As a strong advocate of the Greater Bay Area concept, I will also help our clients in Latin America and Spain to take advantage of the GBA initiatives. I believe the Greater Bay Area will act as an ideal gateway for overseas clients looking to expand their businesses into the mainland China.
Come whatever kind of weather, come the stormy days along. With our dedicated team of Latin and Chinese professionals, we soldier on.
Written by Mr. Thomas Wong, Partner of CW CPA
Before joining the Latin Department team, Marant Caballero studied at Fudan University in Shanghai, from which he obtained a business certificate in international business. After his graduation, he moved to Shenzhen, where he worked in the retail division of a large e-commerce company, focusing on Spanish-speaking markets (Latin America and Spain) and developed different sales and marketing strategies through social media. As a native Spanish speaker from Mexico, Marant Caballero joined CW team in 2017 in our Shenzhen office as Latin Department business advisor and focused on marketing and sales.
After joining our Latin Department, Marant has guided several Latin American clients through their market entry process into Greater China, from pre-entry assessment to corporate establishment, and ongoing support working closely our tax, accounting and payroll professionals.
With CW’s Shanghai office recently relocated, Marant has made the decision to represent our Latin Department in Shanghai in order to deepen CW’s commercial activities in the Yangtze River Delta, one of the most developed business clusters in China. CW’s Shanghai office now consists of a team of accounting and payroll consultants serving a handful of international clients headquartered in Latin America, United States, France, United Kingdom etc. Marant is excited to join our Shanghai team and plans to fully exercise his marketing expertise to help CW gain a stronger foothold in Shanghai.
If you wish to seek for cooperation with our Shanghai team, please do not hesitate to contact Marant Caballero at the following email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Marant Caballero, Latin Department, CW CPA
Established in October 2019, the Portugal-Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce and Industry (“PHKCCI”) is a non-profit private organization that aims to promote trade, economics and cultural relations between Portugal and Hong Kong, providing a platform for companies and individuals to learn more about Portugal and Hong Kong and to find new business opportunities.
CW CPA is proud to be invited as a Supporting Member of the PHKCCI and was graced by the visit of Goncalo Frey Ramos, Vice President of PHKCCI in early 2020, sharing with the PHKCCI the objective of encouraging business cooperation between Portugal and Hong Kong.
On 18 June 2020, the PHKCCI organized the webinar “Hong Kong and Portugal: Access to Third Markets – to the Greater Bay Area and Portuguese Speaking Countries” chaired by Bernardo Mendia, President of the PHKCCI. Kemelly Vera, Advisor of CW CPA, and Luis Bravo, Director of Bison Bank, were invited as speakers. They highlighted the benefits of doing business in Hong Kong and Portugal.
Following the webinar, Bernardo Mendia was interviewed by China’s largest news agency, Xinhua News Agency, and published in its Portuguese version, acknowledging the integration of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area (GBA) would bring opportunities and advantages for foreign companies in Hong Kong.
“For foreign companies, entering Hong Kong will mean entering in nine Chinese mega-cities and the Macao Special Administrative Region simultaneously,” said Bernardo. “The greater the integration of the region, the greater the advantages for entrepreneurs.”
Bernardo also mentioned, during the interview, that both Portugal and Hong Kong are gateways to large markets with common advantages such as legal, fiscal and financial regimes that are friendly to foreign investment, a broad command of the English language by their citizens, good transport and telecommunications, freedom of capital flow and qualified human resources. These factors attract entrepreneurs to develop their business in both places.
Bernardo hopes that companies in Portugal and Hong Kong will look for business complementarities and establish partnerships with mutual gains to build the necessary trust for lasting cooperation.
Interview article published in Xinhua Portuguese: http://portuguese.xinhuanet.com/2020-06/26/c_139168842.htm
Link to the webinar (in English): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8twnj5AOSrw
(If you wish to join the PHKCCI, please contact Kemelly Vera by email at email@example.com.)
Written by Ivo Pang, Intern of Latin Department, CW CPA