Legal & Regulatory
Oct. 16 – When applying for a long-term visa in India, there are a number of procedures and legal frameworks that must be understood. In this article, we discuss the documents necessary for a foreigner to work in India.
India provides two kinds of work-related visas: a business visa, also called a B visa, and an employment visa, also called an E visa. A multiple entry business visa can be granted for a period of up to five years, with the maximum allowable stay period per visit to be determined by the issuing Indian mission.
By Eunice Ku
Sept. 13 – A wholly foreign-owned enterprise (WFOE) is a company established in China according to Chinese laws and wholly owned by one or more foreign investors. A WFOE is a limited liability company, meaning that the liability of the shareholders is limited to the assets they brought to the business. Unlike the simpler representative office setup which is subject to a number of limitations, a WFOE can make profits and issue local invoices in RMB to its customers, which is crucial as invoices are the basis for obtaining tax deductions in China.
Sept. 12 – The new issue of Asia Briefing Magazine, titled Work Visa and Permit Procedures Across Asia, is out now and will be temporarily available as a complimentary PDF download on the Asia Briefing Bookstore throughout the months of September and October.
Demand for skilled foreign nationals remains high across Asia, but when conducting business as a foreign national in a foreign country, it is important to be aware of the regulations governing foreign executives’ stay abroad. Employers with a physical presence in these markets must also understand the proper procedures for sponsoring a foreign worker.
The necessary documents required for a foreign national working in Asia vary country to country, but typically include a specific work visa, a work permit, and/or a residence permit. However, short-term visits for purposes of due diligence, quality control, or trade fairs, for example, may be covered through the issuance of business visas.
Aug. 29 – Once a conclusion has been reached concerning the issue of what kind of contract a company wishes to enter into for a particular employee role (direct employment, secondment or outsourcing), the next step will be the drafting of the contract. Normally, employment agencies and outsourcing companies will have their own template for the services they provide, but the company will need to design a labor contract template for its directly hired staff. As the majority of employees are employed on fixed-term labor contracts, this article will concentrate on this type of contract in the explanation below.
The first condition that should be met when employing Chinese employees is for a written labor contract to be completed within one month of the commencement of the employment relationship. If this condition is not observed, under the terms of the Labor Contract Law, an employee may claim double salary for each of the months worked without a written labor contract after the first month. If the situation persists for a period of more than one year, the company is deemed to have provided the employee with an open-term contract.
Aug. 23 – China’s State Council released the “Opinions on Financial Support to the Development of Small and Micro-sized Enterprises (guobanfa  No.87, hereinafter referred to as ‘Opinions’)” on August 8, which put forward eight specific financial measures to support the development of small and micro-sized enterprises in the country. Detailed information can be found below.
Financial Supporting Measures
Realizing the objectives set up for the rate and amount of loan growth
Under the premise of overall controllable risks, the growth rate of loans provided to small and micro-sized enterprises shall not be lower than the average growth rate of all types of loans and the amount of growth shall not be lower than the level of the corresponding period of last year.
Aug. 21 – In an effort to enact protection mechanisms to lower the risk investors may be exposed to with regard to securities-related crimes, the Vietnamese government promulgated Circular No. 10, which comes into effect today and contains new regulatory guidelines regarding:
- Intentional disclosure of false information;
- Insider trading; and
- Manipulation of securities prices.
The circular embodies the joint effort by the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Public Security, the Supreme People’s Court and the Ministry of Finance to crack down on securities fraud.
Aug. 21 – China’s new Exit and Entry Law, which came into effect on July 1, 2013, requires all foreigners to register with their local public security bureau within 24 hours of arrival in the country, and failure to do so will result in a maximum fine of RMB2,000.
The new Exit and Entry Law has laid down the following provisions regarding the 24 hour registration rule:
- For foreigners who reside or stay in places other than hotels: They, or the persons who accommodate them, shall within 24 hours after the foreigners’ arrival, go through the registration formalities with the appropriate public security bureau near to the place of residence.
- For foreigners who stay in hotels: Such hotels shall process check-in formalities for them in accordance with the regulations on the public security administration of the hotel industry, and shall submit foreigners’ check-in information to the appropriate local public security bureau.
Jul. 9 – Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang and a delegation of high-level officials visited Indonesia last month in a diplomatic trip to strengthen economic and political ties between the two countries.
During the meeting, Vietnam signed the following Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) on bilateral trade and energy investment with Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and representatives from Indonesia’s Ministries of Finance and Commerce:
- MoU on Financial Cooperation;
- MoU on Energy and Mineral Resources Cooperation; and
- MoU of Cooperation between the Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
Op-Ed Commentary: Chris Devonshire-Ellis
Jul. 4 – Singapore has been entering into bilateral investment treaties (BITs) with other countries since the mid-1970s and continues to use such treaties today. Although many of these earlier treaties have now been superseded by more complicated and sophisticated trade agreements such as double taxation agreements (DTAs) and other bilateral mechanisms, BITs remain important for Singapore and its smaller trading partners, and particularly so for investors from emerging nations with relatively immature tax laws and regulatory environments. Singapore’s BITs also serve to underpin the bilateral investment conditions between Singapore and other developing nations that have not yet negotiated DTA agreements with the country.
May 27 – The new issue of Vietnam Briefing Magazine, titled Re-evaluating Your Vietnam Representative Office, is out now and temporarily available as a complimentary PDF download on the Asia Briefing Bookstore.
So, you want to expand your business presence in Vietnam. How? For starters, you can open up a representative office (RO) in the country, which would get your foot in the door when it comes to exploring the market and conducting business. However, in Vietnam (as in most countries), an RO is limited in its range of operations and is typically used as a stepping stone to test the water before a company decides to establish a legal entity with a larger scope of business, such as a joint venture or a 100 percent foreign-owned entity.
So how do you make the jump from an RO to a 100% FOE? Take a look into your RO’s operations before deciding what your next move will be. Upgrading the office may be the right answer for you – as an RO can easily be upgraded to increase its scope of activities to align more closely with your company’s goals and to further your business’ game plan. Or, if that’s not in line with your company goals, you can just as easily decide to close up shop.