Regional Actors

Investing in Manila

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By Vasundhara Rastogi

ASB- Investing in Manila (002)

The Philippines has shown strong economic growth in the last one year, and is expected to grow at the rate of 6.5-7 percent annually in the coming years. Given its strong economic prospects, it’s the best time for foreign businesses to explore business opportunities in the country.

Manila, the capital and main city of the Philippines, offers a variety of business possibilities in industries ranging from manufacturing to information technology (IT), and financial services. In this article, we provide a brief overview of the city’s investment climate.

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ASEAN-Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement Signed

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By Dezan Shira & Associates
Editor: Vasundhara Rastogi

ASB- ASEAN-Hong Kong FTA (002)

On November 12, 2017, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China signed a free trade and investment pact to strengthen economic cooperation between the two regions and stimulate economic development. The two agreements, the ASEAN-Hong Kong, China Free Trade Agreement (AHKFTA) and the ASEAN-Hong Kong Investment Agreement (AHKIA), were signed at the 31st ASEAN Summit in Manila and will come into force on January 1, 2018.

The agreements cover all aspects of trade in goods, such as tariffs; rules of origin; non-tariff measures; customs procedures and trade facilitation; trade remedies; technical barriers to trade; and sanitary and phytosanitary measures. They also include elements related to trade in services; investment; economic and technical co-operation; dispute settlement mechanism; and other areas of interests to be mutually agreed upon by the two parties.

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Malaysia’s 2018 Budget: Salient Features

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By Dezan Shira & Associates
Editor: Vasundhara Rastogi

ASB- Malaysias 2018 Budget (002)

On October 27, 2017, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak tabled the country’s much anticipated 2018 budget. The new budget is in line with the government’s agenda to achieve Transformasi Nasional 2050 (TN50) or National Transformation 2050; TN50 is a 30 year-plan,first introduced in the budget 2017,that aims to make Malaysia one of the world’s top 20 countries by 2050.

Termed as a generous and people friendly budget, the proposed allocation for 2018 stands at RM280.25 billion (US$66.3 billion) – a rise of 7.5 percent from 2017. The Malaysian government has proposed several tax incentives for investors and venture capital firms in the 2018 budget. In this article, we look at the salient features of the budget and their implications for businesses.

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Cambodia’s Garment Manufacturing Industry

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By Dezan Shira & Associates
Editor: Vasundhara Rastogi

ASB- Singapore Employment Permits - Part II

Cambodia is strategically located in the heart of Southeast Asia. The country is bordered by Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam, and has the Gulf of Thailand to its south-west. The country is popular for providing a low-cost manufacturing base for several industries. Among the many advantages that the country offers to investors are duty-free access to some large and developed markets, a stable economy, and several government incentives. Additionally, there are several special economic zones exclusively established to promote manufacturing across the country. In this article, we briefly discuss the chief characteristics of the garment manufacturing industry in Cambodia and the advantages it offers to foreign investors.

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Payroll Outsourcing in Singapore: Allowing Companies to Focus on Regional Expansion in ASEAN

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By Dezan Shira & Associates

Although managing payroll in Singapore is a relatively less complex process than elsewhere in ASEAN, it is not without its inherent challenges given the city-state’s constantly evolving regulatory environment. While Singapore-based companies may find it challenging to keep track of the country’s changing social security, tax, and regulatory norms when computing payroll for its employees, those with operations in the wider ASEAN region are likely to find the task even more daunting.

When a company operates in multiple countries, its internal HR teams often struggle to stay updated with changing payroll regulations. Indeed, payroll regulations in emerging markets can change quickly and without proper notification. HR staff doing payroll without up-to-date information may, inadvertently, lead to issues of non-compliance. Non-compliance, even accidental, can invite unwanted scrutiny from authorities, heavy fines, and may negatively impact the morale of employees adversely affected. 

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Investing in Cambodia’s Phnom Penh

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By Vasundhara Rastogi

Phnom Penh, once known as the ‘Pearl of Asia’, is the capital and largest city of Cambodia. Located at the confluence of three major rivers –  the Mekong, the Tonle Sap River, and the Bassac River -, the city serves as Cambodia’s major economic, business, and trading destination. Though the city is located 120 miles away from the sea, its proximity to the Mekong river valley makes it an ideal port – connecting the landlocked region to the South China Sea via Vietnam by the Hau Giang channel of the Mekong Delta. Phnom Penh is home to 1.5 million people, and serves as a major global and domestic tourist destination in Cambodia. Khmer, the most popular and official language of the country is the main language; English and French are also widely spoken.

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Top Three IPR Mistakes that SMEs Should Avoid in Southeast Asia

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By: South-East Asia IPR SME Helpdesk

A wide range of foreign industries are now looking to Southeast Asia not just to take advantage of an abundance of cheap labor for production of goods for export, but also to tap into new consumer markets formed from a growing middle class population. While these opportunities can lead to substantial returns for Western, including European businesses, via both the production and sales side, the less developed nature of business-related legislation means the dangers of intellectual property (IP) infringement are often great.

There are very few SMEs who would not take the issue of intellectual property rights (IPR) seriously in their business strategies, nevertheless there are some issues that are commonly overlooked and can even lead to commercial disaster. Here we take a look, in no particular order, at the top three IPR mistakes SMEs make.

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Singapore’s Inward Re-Domiciliation Regime: What You Need to Know

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By Dezan Shira & Associates
Editor: Vasundhara Rastogi

One of the key amendments to the Singapore Companies Act, the inward re-domiciliation regime came into effect on October 11, 2017. The amendment allows foreign companies to relocate their business headquarters to Singapore instead of setting up subsidiaries, without losing their corporate history or brand identity. This means that a foreign company located outside of Singapore may become a registered Singapore private company limited by shares, domiciled in Singapore and continue its operations under the laws of Singapore; the company need not wind up its business activities and set up a new company in Singapore. Re-domiciliation in Singapore does not create a new legal entity. It also does not affect the property, rights or obligations of the foreign company, or affect any legal proceedings by or against the foreign company.

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The Guide to Employment Permits for Foreign Workers in Brunei

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By Dezan Shira & Associates
Editor: Vasundhara Rastogi

ASB- Brunei Employment Permits (002)

Brunei is among the most popular destinations for foreigners looking for career opportunities in ASEAN. Over the years, the country has emerged as a wealthy economy fueled by the largest oilfields in Southeast Asia. With a growing economy and English as its business language, the number of foreigners looking to work in Brunei has increased significantly.

In this article, we provide you with a brief explanation of the procedures and documents required for obtaining an employment permit in the country.

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Singapore’s Free Trade Agreement with Turkey Comes into Force

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By Dezan Shira & Associates
Editor: Vasundhara Rastogi

The much-awaited Turkey-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (TRSFTA) went into effect on October 1, this year. The agreement paves the way for freer movement of goods and services, and further investment opportunities between the two countries. The TRSFTA was first signed in November 2015 and covers a wide range of areas including goods and services, e-commerce, intellectual property rights, competition, and transparency.

According to the official press notification, tariffs for Singapore’s exports to Turkey on 80 percent of all tariff lines will be eliminated under the TRSFTA. The coverage will increase to more than 95 percent of all tariff lines over a period of 10 years.

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Dezan Shira & Associates

Meet the firm behind our content. Dezan Shira & Associates have been servicing foreign investors in China, India and the ASEAN region since 1992. Click here to visit their professional services website and discover how they can help your business succeed in Asia.

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