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  • Lots of Burrowing Around in Transfer Pricing Regulations

    Lots of Burrowing Around in Transfer Pricing Regulations

    Kitty Miv, Editor

    28 Feb, 2013

    Brazil is one of those countries which fiddles constantly with taxes in a protectionist way, tries to manage its exchange rate, and generally behaves badly in my book, so it's good to be able to welcome a tax concession aimed at improving connectivity. But then they would have to go and stipulate that 50% of any equipment installed must be sourced locally, so only half a cheer. Then you wonder, at least I would if I was a foreign supplier of modems, say, how to get around that rule. There is bribery, of course, but you're not allowed to talk about that unless you're Silvio Berlusconi; so the next thing might be to try to interpret the "sourced locally" wording. What does that actually mean? A certificate issued by the local fisc? Then what if you have assembled the modems locally from cheap bought-in components, it would depend on how much value you could attribute to the local process.
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  • Dubai is now uncatchable as a business hub for the region

    Dubai is now uncatchable as a business hub for the region

    Kitty Miv, Editor

    03 Jan, 2013

    A friend of mine took his family on holiday to Dubai just before Christmas, and apart from spending far too much money, reports back that the place is bursting with optimism and go-go spirits.
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    Tags: Dubai


  • The Prime Minister enjoyed joking that Kazakhstan was going to be part of Europe

    The Prime Minister enjoyed joking that Kazakhstan was going to be part of Europe

    Kitty Miv, Editor

    27 Dec, 2012

    By and large, the World Trade Organization has had a good year, with a number of countries joining the organization...
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  • France and Germany are going to pick up the tab

    France and Germany are going to pick up the tab

    Kitty Miv, Editor

    08 Nov, 2012

    Through the dense fog of partisanship and a divided legislature, it's sometimes difficult to be sure what's going on in (wait for it, you thought I was going to talk about the US, right?) Germany (ha, ha, gotcha!) but it does seem that the government is both running a reasonably tight ship, debt-wise, even after paying its contribution to one or more of those European funds for saving southern member states from the consequences of their fiscal follies, and actually managing at the same time to abolish an unpopular tax without, apparently, introducing a new one.
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  • No rice, please. We're Korean!

    No rice, please. We're Korean!

    Kitty Miv, Editor

    25 Oct, 2012

    Now here's something that should make you laugh. Or gasp. Or turn on a re-run of Fawlty Towers. The Korean import tariff on popcorn is 630%. And that's South Korea, in case you were wondering. In North Korea it's probably classified as a WMD.

    Mind you, under the Korea/EU FTA it's going to be reduced to nothing (subject to ASG, whatever that means) over a mere seven years (it's 14 years under KORUS, so EU popcorn exporters - probably expatriate Chinese in Brick Lane - should be thankful for small mercies).
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  • The Euro endgame has begun

    The Euro endgame has begun

    Freemont Group

    02 Oct, 2012

    Failure of the Euro is no longer a question of 'if' but 'when'. The new ECB president Mario Draghi seems determent in continuing the self destructing policies in pursuit of their European dream. are all other major players of European aristocracy (Barosso, Merkel, Schultz, Hollande, Van Rompuy etc)
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    Tags: Euro


  • Burning Banknotes In The Street

    Burning Banknotes In The Street

    Kitty Miv, Editor

    27 Sep, 2012

    India's decision to give tax relief on 50% of the value of listed share purchases is brave, and let's hope that it is not sunk by bureaucratic obstacles. Many countries have tried such measures to increase saving and mobilize resources through stock markets. Perhaps most famously, the French Loi Monory in the 1970s allowed 100% of stock market investments to be deductible, but only up to FFr5,000, which was too little (say EUR500) and was anyway whittled away in the 1980s. The problem in India is that ordinary people quite rightly don't trust government, and with perhaps less reason don't trust the stock market, which they may feel is at the mercy of events that are beyond their ken, and can fall prey to the very governmental incoherence they fear.
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  • Cut Their Own Bloated Payrolls

    Cut Their Own Bloated Payrolls

    Kitty Miv, Editor

    13 Sep, 2012

    Although this column is never in favour of new or increased taxes (because what governments should rather be doing is to cut their own bloated payrolls and electoral pork) I'm pleased to see that Ireland is ignoring the IMF's advice on property tax and going with a lower figure for its new real estate tax. The IMF, like the OECD, long ago lost its mildly useful role, in the case of the IMF as a corrective institution for wayward governments. When was the last time that a spendthrift finance minister had to turn back at the airport from yet another international jolly in order to meet his stern-faced IMF task-masters? Now all they do is to recommend governments to tax more and more and more. We'd be better off abolishing both the IMF and the OECD and starting with a clean sheet of paper.
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  • The Ineluctable Slide Towards a Grexit Continues

    The Ineluctable Slide Towards a Grexit Continues

    Kitty Miv, Editor

    02 Aug, 2012

    Perhaps I shouldn't be rewarding countries for relaxing regimes that should never have been there in the first place, but that would rule out just about 100% of tax reductions, so I'm going to go ahead and award China an encomium for its continued opening up of inward investment, coupled with gradual freeing-up of trading in the renminbi. There are still tight limits on who can invest in the country's financial markets, and how much, and into what; these all need to be removed asap, but in the meantime let us welcome limited progress.
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