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Post Globalization: Hong Kong - Opportunities and Challenges

May 24th, 2023

10:00 – 11:00 (MEZ)

webinar hong kong altios

You can now watch the webinar replay by clicking here.

Since 2019, the world has changed in ways none of us could have predicted. Protests in Hong Kong, the pandemic, and the war in Ukraine are increasingly shifting and regionalizing the balance of economic power.

The world is changing and Hong Kong with it. What role will Hong Kong play in this regionalized world? Is there still a difference between doing business in Hong Kong and Shanghai or Shenzhen? Or is Hong Kong more than ever an important gateway to China, where it is increasingly difficult for Western companies to do business. Is it possible that Singapore will replace Hong Kong as the most important regional international hub in the long term?

Target group: Managing directors and board members with an interest in Hong Kong as a business location, persons responsible for Hong Kong and/or China business, specialists and executives (market development, expatriation, export, finance)

Event language: English

This webinar includes :

  • Hong Kong and its motto: One country – two systems.
  • Hong Kong’s uniqueness compared to China and Singapore
  • Hong Kong as part of the GBA
  • Free trade agreements – an overview
  • Market entry strategies – Which is the “right” one for your company?
  • Case studies – How companies do business in Hong Kong

Experts

Photo d'Irène

As the Business Manager of Altios Greater China, Irene Tchedre is responsible for assisting foreign companies to establish, maintain and expand business activities in Hong Kong/China’s complex environment. With more than 10 years of professional experience, she has extensive knowledge and experience in dealing with the challenges and peculiarities of the Chinese market.

Irene Tchedre has a deep understanding of Chinese business culture and can help her clients build successful relationships with local partners and implement long-term business goals.

photo de marius

Marius Heickmann has more than 7 years of experience in internationalization consulting and cross-border project management. He successfully supports companies based in the DACH region (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) in their global market expansion. As Business Development Manager at Maier Vidorno Altios, he is based in Cologne and is part of our outbound team there.

At the University of Bonn, Heickmann successfully completed his studies in Asian Studies with a focus on business & society, especially in India and Southeast Asia. Every year he accompanies about 30 projects of our customers from various industries such as pharmaceuticals, medical technology, automotive, chemistry, mechanical engineering, electronics and automation.

KC-Lam

As Head of Consulate and Chamber Engagement, Transport and Industrial at InvestHK, KC Lam is responsible for building networks with foreign consulates and chambers in Hong Kong. His team provides assistance and various services to the foreign business community in the city, helping to attract foreign direct investment.

Prior to joining InvestHK, KC Lam worked in the field of environmental technology and in commercial and technical roles at a major airline in Hong Kong. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Bristol and a Master’s degree in Manufacturing Engineering from Cranfield University.

Hannes Farlock has spent most of his professional career in international markets, promoting and developing business relationships. Prior to his role in Hong Kong, he was Managing Director of DEinternational at the German-Russian Chamber of Commerce Abroad in Moscow.

Prior to joining the global network of German Chambers of Commerce Abroad (AHK), Mr. Farlock worked in Belarus, Ukraine and Germany, including business development in the IT and start-up sectors, as well as in the former TACIS program of the European Commission.

Mr. Farlock studied management in Austria and Lithuania and Russian and Eurasian studies in Saint Petersburg, Russia. He is currently enrolled in an Executive Diploma program in Organizational Leadership at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School.

Event partners

AHK partner logo

German Industry and Commerce Ltd (GIC) is the delegation of German business in Hong Kong. Since 1987, GIC has been the first point of contact for German companies with business interests in Hong Kong and the region, as well as for local companies with investment or expansion plans in Germany. As one of 150 AHK locations worldwide under the umbrella of the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (DIHK), GIC has a mandate from the German government to promote German foreign trade, together with the German Consulate General and the representative office of Germany Trade & Invest. GIC is private sector oriented, neutral and independent.

InvestHK‘s vision is to strengthen Hong Kong’s status as a leading international business hub in Asia. InvestHK’s mission is to attract and retain foreign direct investment, which is of strategic importance to Hong Kong’s economic development.

The 5 key steps to prepare your M&A operation in Germany

M&A germany 5 key

April 2023

External growth is one of the quickest ways, for SMEs to grow their business and expand their operations (activities, services, clients) abroad. However, a Merger & Acquisition process faces many challenges, especially in an international
context.

5 prerequisites are critical, before beginning your M&A operation in Germany.

Integrate external growth into your development strategy

External VS Organic growth: Define the best way to enter a new country, new market. External growth strategies (M&A or Strategic alliances), can be quicker in most cases, but preliminary analysis is mandatory before launching a full process. It can lead to value loss if not done correctly.

Verify your financing capacity (level of Enterprise Value) to assess the size of the target you can aim for.

Appoint a Project Manager

Name a Project Manager within your organization that will link all parties involved in the M&A operation (advisors, targets, banks, etc.)

Depending on the size of the project, define the scope of responsibilities of each member involved in the project.

In Germany: It may take some time to get initial feedback from the German targets, but once the interest of a target has been validated, it is important to be reactive and to be able to introduce the same people to the Germans, to ensure a good follow-up throughout the mission.

Define the ideal target

  • Define the company size (employee, revenue/EBITDA, balance sheet.)
  • Define the activity/services/products/sectors/ clients
  • Define the geographical scope (region, country)
  • Define the other criteria (type of ownership, type of acquisition, type of clients, management team, etc.)
target

Adapt to cultural differences

/ Approach the potential targets: The first approach in the M&A operation is always complicated as we do not know if the targets are ready to sell their companies or open to sharing information. The idea is to create the opportunity. Each approach must adapt to cultural specificities to maximize the chances of opening the door and getting information.

In Germany: Our local teams approach the targets directly by phone and organize the first meeting in German to discuss your company and your objectives and those of the targets. The first approach in German allows to reassure the interlocutors a little and allows first fluid exchanges.

/ Negotiation phase and the M&A process: Adapting to cultural differences is key: respect the agenda/calendar, communicate clearly, do not rush, and communicate in advance, if changes any.

In Germany especially: Your presentations and arguments have to be explicit. well-founded, short, straight to the point, instructive and technical during exchanges. The relationship is not limited to meetings: make sure you stick to the schedule and if you have to cancel or postpone a meeting or a call, let your contact know well in advance and agree on a new date.

Specify the schedule & prepare your documents

Define the planning of the M&A operation for the main steps: Duration of each step (2 months for the screening, 2-3 months for the approach phase, 4 months for Due Diligence, etc.). It’s mandatory to be structured and plan.

Adapt to the agenda/calendar of each target (might be quicker than expected if the target is in an active sale process/longer if the target is initially not ready to sell).

A M&A operation requires a large number of documents. You need to prepare the following:

  • The Letter of Intent (LOI): A document outlining an agreement between two or more parties before the agreement is finalized.
  • Data rooms (online data room): running a data room process requires gathering confidential documents that third parties (lawyers, investment banks, chartered accountants, etc.) may then access more easily during the process
  • Due diligence: the process through which a potential acquirer evaluates a target company or its assets for an acquisition. The relevant areas of concern may include the financial, legal, labor, tax, IT, environment, and market/commercial situation of the company.
  • After due diligence is completed, the parties may proceed to draw up a Definitive Agreement, known as a “merger
    agreement,” “share purchase agreement” or “asset purchase agreement” depending on the structure of the transaction.

ALTIOS teams can help you succeed your M&A operations, as well as guide you through the entire subsidiary set-up process. Book an appointment with one of our experts to discover our personalized offer.

M&A germany 5 key

Looking to move into Germany?

Savino Del Bene S.p.A.

Altios Accompanies Savino Del Bene S.p.A. Expansion in France

Language and cultural norms can be a major barrier to acquisitions. However, Altios' innovative M&A approach meant we could grow our presence in France and ensure a smooth transition of Tramar and Alpinea Shipping within our business structure and corporate culture.

Gianni Bachini
Savino Del Bene’s Managing Director of Spain, Portugal, and France

Challenges

  • In the early ‘90s, Savino Del Bene opened its first office in Paris, France, as part of the company’s international expansion that was begun in the 1950s by the founder’s son Alessandro Del Bene. The company continued to expand in France, later opening offices in Lyon and Bordeaux.

  • “It became evident that for us to grow our business in France, we needed to have a strong presence in the two major maritime ports, Le Havre and Marseille,” said Gianni Bachini, Savino Del Bene’s Managing Director of Spain, Portugal, and France.

  • “We knew the fastest approach to expansion in the French marketplace would be through acquisition.” But to do so would mean finding the right partner and, just as importantly, meeting complex French legal requirements. “We needed to think the French way,” commented Mr. Bachini.

Solutions

  • After successfully acquiring Alpinea Shipping in October 2021, Savino Del Bene sought Altios Corporate Finance‘s help again to further its expansion in France and Europe.
  • The Altios team began the second M&A project for Savino Del Bene by conducting a complete market analysis and shortlisting potential acquisition candidates.
  • Following the initial successful introduction meeting, Altios led the next steps in the M&A project.

Results

  • By the end of 2021, Savino Del Bene had grown its revenue in the French market by more than €50 million through the two successful acquisitions. “By bringing Tramar and Alpinea Shipping within our family, we could expand our European network and footprint throughout France and strategic maritime ports,” said Mr. Bachini.

  • Throughout the two acquisitions, Altios developed a close working relationship with the team at Savino Del Bene. This strong partnership approach ensured all parties in the M&A process were part of the process.
  • Language and cultural norms can be a major barrier to acquisitions. However, Altios’ innovative M&A approach meant we could grow our presence in France and ensure a smooth Tramar and Alpinea Shipping transition within our business structure and corporate culture,” commented Mr. Bachini.

Want to know more about Savino Del Bene’s experience and its international development?

Visit the website

Company Profile

Founded in 1899

Headquarters in Florence, Italy

International shipping and logistics support services

Operating in more than 60 countries

5,300 employees across 306 offices

Annual revenue €4.5 billion

logistic maritime

Crédit Agricole Italia in Trento with Altios International to promote the companies internationalization

First stage of the initiative “Coffee with Companies”, the Group on tour throughout Italy

"Coffee with Companies"

Trento, 2 February 2023 – The new series of meetings of “Coffee with Companies”, the itinerant initiative born from the collaboration between Crédit Agricole Italia and ALTIOS, has started from the Trento headquarters of Crédit Agricole in Piazza Pasila.

During this series of capillary meetings in the territories, Crédit Agricole Italia intends to accompany companies toward new opportunities and strategies, useful for the penetration of foreign markets, thanks to the Group’s international
network and to the services offered by its historical partner ALTIOS.

The first stage met with the participation of numerous companies from Trentino, interested in delving into particular issues related to countries where the Bank and ALTIOS, thanks to their international specialists, can provide direct support while amplifying their relational network.

For more information on the Crédit Agricole Italia website, click here.

"This event held in Trento, highlights how Italian companies need structured support for long-terminternational development.
Mirko_Mottino
Mirko Mottino
Country Manager ALTIOS Italy

Save the date

Here are the dates to remember about “Trade Finance and Internationalization”:

February 8th – Genova

March 22nd – Reggio Emilia

May 2nd – Palermo

May 3rd – Catania

May 16th – Brescia

May 23rd – Padova

May 30th – Udine

More information

To know more about this partnership, you can read our press release.

More about Italy: watch a webinar replay about “Tools and strategies for your international development”

HR regulations change in Poland

After several tax changes for 2023, Poland updates HR regulations as well.

Business trips

There will be a new per diem rate for business trips as of 1 January 2023. As a consequence, the lump sums for transport travel expenses and for overnight stays will also change.

  • a per diem for a business trip – PLN 45
  • lump sum to cover the costs of travelling by public transport – PLN 9
  • lump sum for an overnight stay – PLN 67.5
futuristic business people expo concept

Employee Capital Plans

If an employee does not wish to save in a PPK, then they must, once again, submit a written declaration resigning from the scheme to the employer. If the employee does not make such a declaration, the employer will have to start making contributions for that employee from April 1st, 2023.

Labour Law (should take effect in Q1 2023)

  • The concept of remote working – will be agreed upon between the employer and the employee and included in the remote working regulations
  • Legal grounds for employers to carry out preventive checks for the presence of alcohol or substances acting similarly to alcohol in the bodies of their employees
  • Measures enabling greater use of flexible working arrangements
  • Changes to parental leave and maternity benefits
  • New rules on paternity leave
  • New carer’s leave and leave of absence for urgent family reasons

For more content about reforms in Poland: click here

What to know about Poland in 2023

Poland is one of Europe’s most attractive locations for overseas companies to set up a business (economic stability, a well-educated and diverse workforce, favorable location at the heart of Europe)

Economic Outlook

Economic growth is expected to decelerate to 1.6% in 2023, due to:
    • High inflation – after peaking at the beginning of 2023 at almost 19%, inflation is projected to decelerate to 4.3% towards the end of 2024
    • Monetary policy tightening
    • Negative confidence effects related to the war in Ukraine
    • Slowing demand in key trading partners

Supply-side disruptions, high input costs, and uncertainty related to the war in Ukraine can affect private investments.

The National Recovery and Resilience Plan is expected to support public investment.

Higher energy and food prices can weigh on household demand and can affect heavily poorer segments, who devote 50% of their monthly spending to food and energy.

The general government deficit is expected to increase to 5.5% of GDP in 2023 (5.2% of GDP in 2024)

poland flag on a mat in the wind and blue sky

Minimum wage growth is expected to be outstripped by inflationary pressures, leading to a decline in the real minimum wage in 2022, which will be moderated by the phased adjustment of the minimum wage in 2023 up to 3 490,00PLN from January 1st and up to 3600,00PLN (probable) from July 1st, 2023.

Poland avoids recession but may see bumpy road ahead.

Taxes in Poland

Regulatory changes introduced over the past 12 months are designed to simplify and modernize the Polish tax and corporate compliance regimes.

Poland has implemented significant reforms in its tax system and corporate compliance regime over the last few years:

  • Mandatory disclosure rules are stricter in Poland than across the EU, and cover internal transactions over a certain value as well as those that cross-borders

  • Environmental obligations in Poland follow EU regulations but are generally stricter and require specific registration and mandatory reporting to Polish authorities

  • Most official company applications and returns can now be submitted electronically, but they must be signed using a qualified certificate that meets the EU’s Electronic Identification, Authentication, and Trust Services (eIDAS) regulations

  • In 2016 Poland introduced its Standard Audit File for Tax (SAF-T) system known as JPK. This incorporated seven regulated JPK structures, of which two, JPK_VAT and JPK_FA, were relevant for VAT. The requirement for monthly submissions of JPK_VAT, was extended to all taxpayers on 1 January 2018. JPK_VAT was combined with the VAT return during 2020 and the consolidated JPK_V7M/K is submitted per the frequency of the VAT Return (monthly or quarterly). The remaining six JPK structures are submitted upon request of the tax authority in event of an audit.

Improvement in the area of digitalization for both companies and individuals – especially– some are taking time to work through the system and have increased the complexity of doing business in Poland.

All above makes it even more important for overseas companies and seek expert guidance when incorporating or doing business in Poland.

Even though changes work through the system and things are improving on an almost daily basis, but the Polish tax and regulatory environment remains still highly complex.

Tax changes 2023 in Poland:

Corporate Income Tax:

  • Minimum income tax – came into force in 2022, but have been suspended until December 31 2023, giving taxpayers another year to prepare for their application; profitability ratio increased from 1% to 2%; the formula used to calculate the tax base has been adjusted.
  • From 1 January 2023, social contributions resulting from the employment relationship in the part financed by the contribution payer, contributions to the Solidarity Fund, the Labor Fund and the Guaranteed Employee Benefits Fund will be classified as tax costs in the month for which they are required, but only if in which they will be paid within the time limit resulting from separate regulations.
  • Changes to the method of charging debt financing costs into tax-deductible costs – exclusion relates to an amount exceeding one of the two: PLN 3 million or 30% of EBITDA, yet not the sum thereof
  • Amendments to and clarification of provisions on profit shifting (costs incurred directly or indirectly to the related entity outside of Poland) – introduction of provisions on taxable base, changes to the method of establishing preferential taxation

Value Added Tax:

  • From January 1, 2023, basic VAT rates will apply again, ranging from 8 to 23% for individual products (termination of the so-called anti-inflation shields, which will expire on December 31, 2022).
  • The VAT rates will again cover, among others: fertilizers, plant protection products and energy carriers such as natural gas, electricity and system heat.
  • The exception will be the extension of the anti-inflation shield for food, which will most likely be maintained by the government. In 2023, or at least for part of it (until mid-year), the VAT rate for food products will still be 0%.
  • From January 1, 2023, new category of VAT payers will be introduced to the VAT Act – VAT Group – it means a group of entities related financially, economically and organizationally, registered as a VAT payer.
  • Electronic invoicing, along with real-time tax submission, will become compulsory in Poland from 1 January 2024.

Transfer Pricing:

The key amendment repeals the requirement to follow the arm’s length principle and the documentation obligation for indirect “tax haven” transactions:

  • PLN 500 thousand (base threshold)
  • PLN 2.5 million (for financial transactions)

Withholding Tax:

The main purpose behind amending withholding tax (WHT) provisions is to relax the rules for tax collection – commonly referred to as the pay & refund mechanism – or make it more feasible

Other changes in tax law that are worth paying attention to:

  • Simplification of the relief for “bad debts” – no attachment for declaration submission required – change from January 1, 2023;
  • Simplification of the procedure for refunding tax on income from buildings;
  • CIT exemption of income of social enterprises;
  • Changes in SLIM VAT 3 – probably change from July 1, 2023;
  • The obligation to record turnover by car washes, including self-service ones.

ALTIOS Poland monitores tax law regulations in Poland and will inform you about the tax changes related to your specicfic business activity.

More content about Poland: click here