29. Januar – Die chinesische Regierung hat vor kurzem eine neue Version des Katalogs für Auslandsinvestitionen vorgestellt. Damit erscheint die erste Überarbeitung des Leitfadens seit dem Jahr 2007. Der Katalog stellt die Direktinvestitionspolitik der chinesischen Regierung vor. Investitionen werden dort in die Kategorien förderungswürdig, erlaubt und verboten unterteilt.
Von Adam Livermore
Dalian weicht von der umstrittenenen Praxis wieder ab, die Obergrenze für die Bemessung der Beiträge auszusetzen - gute Neuigkeiten für Deutsche Staatsbürger, die in der Wirtschaftsentwicklungszone von Dalian angestellt sind
21. Januar – Am 27. Dezember hat die Behörde, welche den Sozialversicherungsfonds in Dalian verwaltet (Dalian Social Insurance Fund Management Centre, DSIFMC), bekannt gegeben, dass sie die Obergrenze für die Bemessung der Sozialversicherungsbeiträge am 01. Januar 2012 wieder einführt. Die Obergrenze wurde ursprünglich, genau wie die alte Methode zur Berechnung der Beiträge, im September des letzten Jahres aufgehoben. Seit Januar diesen Jahres sind beide wieder in Kraft.
19. Januar – Nach der Bekanntgabe der Zentralregierung, dass Ausländer zur Teilnahme an Chinas Sozialversicherungssystem verpflichtet sind, hat nun die Pekinger Stadtregierung Details zur Umsetzung der Beschlüsse in ihrem Gebiet bekannt gegeben. Nicht-Erfüllung der Auflagen kann zu Straf- und Bußgeldern führen.
The Government of India is planning to propose a hike in the maximum foreign direct investment (FDI) capital allowed in broadcasting services - such as direct-to-home (DTH) and cable TV – to a uniform portion of 74 percent.
To aid tax and banking-related information exchange and prevent tax evasion, India signed a double taxation avoidance agreement (DTAA) with Macau on January 1. The agreement will also help to generate a better investment climate for Indian businesses in Macau – a special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China and well-known offshore financial center and tax haven.
On December 31, 2011, both Shenzhen and Beijing announced their new minimum wage standards for 2012. Following the adjustment, Shenzhen’s minimum wage standard will reach RMB1,500, the highest in the whole country.
According to the “Circular on Minimum Wage Standards Adjustment in Shenzhen (shenrenshegui  No.19),” starting on February 1, 2012, Shenzhen’s minimum wage standards will be raised as follows:
Compared to last year, when the raised minimum wage standards were not implemented until April 1, 2011, this year’s new standards will take effect two months earlier, immediately after the Chinese New Year. This sends a message to employers in the city so that they can plan their annual budget in advance. Those who underpay their employees may face inspection by local labor supervision departments.
In accordance with the “Circular on 2012 Minimum Wage Standards Adjustment in Beijing (jingrenshelaofa  No.375),” starting on January 1, 2012, Beijing’s minimum wage standards have already been lifted as follows:
For full-time workers, the components of the aforementioned minimum wage shall not include:
- Compensation for lunch break shifts, night shifts and working under special conditions
- Compensation for working overtime
- Social insurance premiums and housing fund contributions
- Other income that shall not be counted as part of the minimum wage according to national and local regulations
For part-time workers, the components of the aforementioned minimum wage may include premium payments for pension, medical insurance and unemployment insurance.
For employers paying for piecework, the piece rates shall be determined through equal negotiations. An employee that works regularly within official working hours shall receive a wage of no less than the minimum wage standards.
Following the promulgation of a national decree ordering foreign employees’ mandatory participation in China’s social insurance system, Beijing recently issued its own implementation details in a bid to strengthen the enforcement of the new policy.
On December 20, 2011, the Beijing Social Insurance Fund Management Center (BSIFMC) released the “Circular on Issues Concerning the Improvement of Participation in Social Insurance by Foreigners Employed in Beijing (the new Circular).” The document details issues related to foreigners’ social insurance registration, backdated premium payments, charges of late fees, and the participation of foreigners from those countries that have signed a bilateral or multilateral agreement on social insurance with China.
Foreigners’ social insurance registration and backdated premium payments
According to Circular jingshebaofa  No. 55 released by the BSIFMC earlier, employers in Beijing shall undertake social insurance registration for its foreign employees within 30 days after the foreign employee obtains a work permit.
In accordance with Circular No. 55, an employer shall provide the following documentation (both original and photocopy) for its foreign employees’ social insurance registration:
- Passport of the employee
- Work permit
- Completed Beijing Social Insurance Individual Information Registration Form (three copies with company stamp)
- Completed Beijing Social Insurance Participants Increase Form (two copies with company stamp)
- Two passport photos
- Other documentation as required
In cases where the employer encounters actual difficulty in providing all the original copies, registration may still be accepted if photocopies of the complete set of documentation can be provided, the new Circular added.
In addition, a foreigner must register with the same English name used on his/her valid passport.
A foreigner that qualifies for participation in social insurance and has been employed in Beijing before October 31, 2011 shall make a backdated premium payment for the period from October to December of 2011. A foreigner that qualifies for participation in social insurance and has been employed in Beijing after November 1, 2011 shall make a backdated premium payment from the month in which the foreigner is employed to the month immediately before the one in which the foreigner’s social insurance registration is made.
A foreigner that has already gone through social insurance registration procedures before January 1, 2012 shall not be charged late fees when making backdated premium payments, whereas a foreigner that goes through social insurance registration procedures after January 1, 2012 shall be charged late fees in accordance with the “Circular on Issues Concerning Late Fee Charges on Employers’ Overdue Social Insurance Payment (jingshebaofa  No.39).”
Foreigners from countries with bilateral/multilateral treaties with China
Where a foreigner is the national of a country that has signed a bilateral or multilateral agreement on social insurance with China, his/her participation in social insurance shall be in accordance with the following:
- The foreigner shall make their social insurance registration within 30 days after he/she obtains the work permit, and will make regular premium payments
- Where the foreigner can provide evidence of his/her social insurance participation in the contracting state within three months after he/she obtains the work permit, he/she can be released from the obligation to pay premiums within the prescribed time limit for the prescribed types of insurance, in accordance with the agreement; if the foreigner has made social insurance registration and premium payments, the premiums shall be refunded
- Where the foreigner provides evidence of his/her social insurance participation in the contracting state three months after he/she obtains the work permit, he/she can be released from the obligation to pay premiums within the prescribed period for the prescribed types of insurance from the month in which the agreement is provided; the premiums that have already been paid shall not be refunded
- Where the foreigner fails to provide evidence of his/her social insurance participation in the contracting state three months after he/she obtains the work permit, both premiums and corresponding late fees shall be collected according to related provisions
- The foreigner shall make premium payments for insurance types that are not included in the agreement and those that are included but have exceeded the time limit prescribed in the agreement
The new Circular took effect on December 20, 2011.
Libero accesso al mercato indiano per la vendita di brand monomarca internazionali
Il governo indiano ha appena approvato una riforma che permetterà agli investitori esteri di passare dal 51% al 100% di proprietà delle catene di brand monomarca nel Paese.
Ciò permetterà alle società internazionali di stabilire la propria entità legale, senza dover più ricorrere al partner indiano come in precedenza, e avere negozi di proprietà sul territorio indiano, e possibilità di operare attraverso franchising. Questa manovra, permetterà anche alle attuali Joint Ventures Indo-Straniere, di diventare al 100% di proprietà straniera.
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The beginning of China’s pilot value-added tax (VAT) reform has aimed to make transport services and a list of modern services in pilot areas subject to VAT, instead of business tax. Recently, as a new update to the implementation details of the ongoing VAT reform, China’s Ministry of Finance (MoF) and State Administration of Taxation (SAT) clarified that some of these VATable services can enjoy zero VAT rate and VAT exemption.
Zero VAT rate
According to the “Circular on the Application of Zero VAT Rate and VAT Exemption on VATable Services (caishui  No. 131)” issued on December 20, 2011, the following VATable services provided by taxpayers in pilot areas are subject to the zero VAT rate:
- International transport services (including cross-border and overseas transport of both passengers and cargo)
- Research and development services provided for overseas entities
- Design services provided for overseas entities (excluding design services provided for domestic immovable property)
In order to be able to enjoy the zero VAT rate, international transport service providers in pilot areas shall obtain operation licenses as specified in Circular No. 131.
The zero VAT rate is applied on different types of taxpayers by different means.
For taxpayers which employ the general VAT calculation method (which allows the deduction of input VAT from output VAT), the zero VAT rate is implemented through the “exemption, deduction and refund” method, with the tax rebate rate standing at the same applicable VAT rates stipulated in the “Implementation Details of VAT Reform in Transport Services and Certain Modern Services (caishui  No. 111).”
For taxpayers which employ the simplified VAT calculation method (which does not allow the deduction of input VAT from output VAT), the zero VAT rate is simply implemented by means of VAT exemption.
Both types of taxpayers mentioned above shall conduct the required tax exemption, deduction and refund procedures with the tax authorities in charge of tax rebates on a monthly basis. The related declaration and filing details will be announced by the SAT and MoF at a later date.
The following VATable services provided by taxpayers in pilot areas are exempt from VAT:
- Project exploration and survey services provided for projects and mineral resources located overseas
- Convention and exhibition services provided for conventions and exhibitions held overseas
- Warehousing services provided with the warehouses located overseas
- Tangible personal property rental services provided with the subject matter used overseas
- International transport services operated without required licenses
- The following VATable services provided for overseas entities:
1. Technology transfer and advisory services
2. Contracted energy management services (excluding such services provided with the subject matter located within borders)
3. Circuit design and testing services
4. Information systems services
5. Business process management services
6. Trademark and copyright transfer services
7. Intellectual property services
8. Logistics support services (excluding warehousing services)
9. Certification, authentication and consulting services (excluding such services provided for domestic goods or immovable property)
10. Overseas advertising services
The Circular took effect on January 1, 2012.
The Indian government on Tuesday agreed to allow 100 percent foreign ownership in single brand retail stores, paving the way for international businesses such as Starbucks, Ikea and Adidas to operate independently in the country without having to involve local partners. Foreign single brand retailers were previously limited to 51 percent ownership.
Besides the entrance of new companies into the Indian market, the decision is also likely to result in several existing foreign players operating under tie-ups with Indian companies to convert their existing ventures into wholly-owned subsidiaries.
The Indian government has stated that the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) has cleared French retailer Christian Louboutin’s proposal to set up retail chains in the country while several global brands such as Mothercare and Marks & Spencer are already in India through the joint venture route.
The announcement comes six weeks after the Union Cabinet approved the proposal and almost four weeks after the government was forced to put its plans to open up the market to global multi-brand retail chains such as Wal-mart and Carrefour on hold in the wake of opposition from allies as well as Congress leaders.
Overseas retailers that want to invest beyond 51 percent will need to source 30 percent of their goods from “Indian” small, village and cottage industries and artisans. Small industries have been defined as those where investment in plant and machinery is up to US$1 million (around Rs. 5 crore).
The fulfillment of this situation will be ensured through self-certification by the company, to be subsequently checked by statutory auditors from the duly certified accounts which the company will be required to maintain, the Department of Industrial Policy and promotion said in a two-page note. The rules also stipulate that these investments would need to be approved by the FIPB. The government is also trying to develop an agreement on 100 percent multi-brand retail. A call on going ahead with the Cabinet decision is expected to be taken after the assembly elections.
Therefore, the revised conditions of this sector are that up to 100 percent ownership would be permitted in single brand product retail trading under the government approval route, subject to the following conditions:
- Products to be sold should be of a single brand only.
- Products should be sold under the same brand internationally (i.e. products should be sold under the same brand in one or more countries other than India).
- Single brand product-retail trading would cover only products which are branded during manufacturing.
- The foreign investor should be the owner of the brand.
- In respect of proposals involving FDI beyond 51 percent, mandatory sourcing of at least 30 percent of the value of products sold would have to be done from Indian “small industries/village and cottage industries, artisans and craftsmen.”
- Application is submitted seeking permission from the government for FDI in retail trade of single brand products to the Secretariat for Industrial Assistance in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion. The application will specifically indicate the product/product categories which are proposed to be sold under a single brand. Any addition to the product/product categories to be sold under single brand would require fresh approval from the government.
- Applications would be processed in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion to determine whether the products proposed to be sold satisfy the notified guidelines, before being considered by the FIPB for government approval.