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Vietnam is the most complex country in Asia Pacific for accounting and tax compliance – just beating its giant and complex neighbour, China – according to TMF Group’s inaugural Financial Complexity Index 2017.

The leading provider of global business and compliance services ranked 94 jurisdictions across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and the Americas, with 1 being most complex and 94 the least complex. Hong Kong came in at 91 as the easiest place in APAC for compliance from an accounting and tax perspective; only the Cayman Islands, BVI and UAE were ranked less complex for business across the world.

TOP 5 MOST COMPLEX JURISDICTIONS IN ASIA PACIFIC FOR ACCOUNTING AND TAX COMPLIANCE

JURISDICTION GLOBAL RANKING
Vietnam 5
China 7
India 10
Pakistan 19
Philippines 25

MOST IMPORTANT COMPLIANCE TRENDS FOR APAC PROFESSIONALS

  1. Risk of non-compliance with local regulation: 24%
  2. Tax compliance (possibly of tax audits): 20%
  3. Accounting complexity: 16%
  4. Future impact of technology: 14%
  5. BEPS and transfer pricing: 12%

Results summary

  • Asia Pacific has three jurisdictions in the top 10: Vietnam (5), China (7) and India (10). Complexity around invoicing, filing and the conducting of audits is high with very specific documentation and processes applied.
  • The burden of reporting creates headaches in Vietnam. Regular filings are required alongside various monthly, quarterly and semi-annual statistics reports, foreign contractor tax and VAT returns, and numerous yearly statutory reports.
  • Tax is a real issue for businesses operating in Vietnam. The VAT system is very confusing and requires expertise to understand its exemptions, refunds, various VAT rates and proper filing of VAT. Businesses must correctly determine which VAT calculation method best suits the business, and ensure tax processes are followed correctly.
  • Elsewhere in APAC, India places 10th globally thanks to a tax system that’s complex and multi-layered. Business leaders have a close eye on the 1 July introduction of a Goods and Services Tax (GST), established as a comprehensive indirect tax on manufacture, sale and consumption of goods and services throughout India as a way to replace taxes levied by both central and state governments.

Commenting on the rankings, TMF Group’s Head of Asia Pacific Paolo Tavolato said:”Vietnam is one of the most dynamic economies in ASEAN, growing quickly and looking to claim a place as the world’s manufacturing hub – but many foreign nationals find its regulations on business unnecessary and overly burdensome.

“The government is making moves to improve this, adopting the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and working to improve and streamline the tax system. It’s also looking to gain investor confidence by bringing the Vietnam Accounting Standard and System (VAS) to be in line with the IFRS.

To download the full report please visit: tmf-group.com/FCI2017

Emergenetics_APAC

 

13 JUNE 2017, HO CHI MINH CITY, VIETNAM – Emergenetics Asia Pacific has appointed Talentnet Corporation as Country Representative for Vietnam. Ms Tieu Yen Trinh, General Director of Talentnet, also an Emergenetics associate, will be assuming the role of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Emergenetics Vietnam.

 

As Country Representative, Talentnet will be bringing Emergenetics suite of products and solutions to organisations and individuals in Vietnam, embedding the Emergenetics Profiling system within leadership development, talent development, and organisation development solutions. “We are passionate about developing talent and organisations in Vietnam, and we believe that Emergenetics can help leaders and teams benefit by helping them realise their potential to achieve business results,” says Trinh.

 

To see full press release, click here.

 

Country Representative for Emergenetics in Vietnam Appointed

 

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Singapore, June 3, 2017 – Stamford American International School celebrated its second graduating class on 3 June 2017 with 52 graduates receiving their high school preparatory diplomas in front of their peers, teachers, family and friends. 100% of students who applied to go to university, have been accepted at their first or second choice.

 

In a beautiful emotionally charged ceremony on a stunning Singapore day, guests were treated to touching speeches, musical performances and outstanding academic recognitions.

 

A poignant moment for these graduates and distinguished guests was listening to the Ceremony guest speaker, Singaporean Dr William Tan. A neuroscientist, Harvard graduate medical doctor, world record holder and Paralympian, Dr William Tan is the personification of both passion and compassion. As a result of missing the polio vaccine, he contracted the disease at the age of two and became paralyzed from the waist down. Notwithstanding his disability, his parents put him on an inspiring education path where he graduated from the National University of Singapore. He joined the Civil Service, ventured abroad for postgraduate studies, with dreams of becoming a scientist and medical doctor. Almost two decades later, he graduated from Harvard University with a First Class Honours in Physiology, and trained at the world-renowned Mayo Clinic.
Dr. Tan’s significant accomplishments did not start and end with academics as his drive extended way beyond the classroom. He became an accomplished sportsman being an Asian-Pacific Games triple gold medallist, he competed in the 1988 Seoul Paralympics, the World Games as well as the Commonwealth Games. He holds six endurance marathon world records including the “Fastest time to complete three marathons in Three Consecutive Days in Three countries”.  In 2007, after 2 failed attempts, he became the first person in the world to finish a marathon in a wheelchair at the North Pole in 21 hours and 10 mins!

 

His journey and that of his parents, not to take ‘no for an answer’ when faced with challenges was the driving force for all that he has accomplished in life. Despite 2 failed attempts at the North Pole Marathon, we went back and conquered on the third attempt. Just when he thought he had done all he wanted on his bucket list, in 2009 he was diagnosed with Stage 4 (end-stage) leukaemia with a 12 months’ life prognosis. This proved to be another pivotal challenge for him both physically and mentally – but again like before, he rose to beat the odds with a bone marrow transplant, and a year later competed in the Berlin Marathon, and is now 7 years in remission.

 

Dr. Tan continues to race and has helped to raise funds for charities all over the world (S$18M and counting!) and in 2017 went back to race at the Boston Marathon, finishing 26 minutes faster against his PB!

 

His gift to Stamford Students was insights into 4 lessons for them to take away with them on their onward journey beyond school – #STRETCH #ADAPT #INTERGRITY #SERVE (#SAIS). As he finished speaking, there were very few dry eyes in the audience and a lasting standing ovation for a truly incredible man. What an inspiration for the Class of 2017 as they embark on self-discovery and choices which will define their impact on the world.

 

SAIS Graduation 2017

TPW Logo with new tagline-final

 

The People at Work recently launched a series of exclusive talks under the banner of “Business Unusual”. The initial talk, “From Winners To Champions”, delivered by renowned international speaker Jim Lafferty, was met with resounding success.

 

The main message of the talk was how companies can transform their teams.  Jim is a Olympic sports coach and a seasoned business leader who ran companies like P&G and Coca-Cola.

 

Over 20 top business leaders from multinational and Philippine companies including Unilever, Ayala Land, Dentsu Aegis, USG Boral, DSM Nutritionals, Ortigas & Company, MRail, Eagle Cement, and many others, were invited to attend.

 

Jimmy Ysmael, President of Ortigas & Co. Ltd found “the session (was) insightful and productive.”  Mark Sergio, newly-appointed Country Manager of USG Boral too said,  “… I’ve learned something from this talk which can help me in building my organization.”

 

Cesar Ginete, Country Manager of The People at Work remarked,  “The audience found Jim’s sharing most inspiring as he introduced new insights into how organisations can change their mindsets.  The People at Work is very pleased with the enthusiastic feedback from our guests and there will be more such events in future as we strive to stay ahead of the management trends in this market.  Stay tuned!”. 

 

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To see full press release, click here.

 

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Launch of P&G E-Center and Leadership College 2017: Last month, P&G announced a $100-M investment in Singapore with the E-Center – which brings digital solutions and capabilities from their global HQ in the U.S. to Singapore. In conjunction with this, they also had the 2nd Leadership College, where they aimed to build the digital capability of local SMEs.

 

To see full press release click here!

 

Launch of #GilletteSalutes: Gillette partnered with Singapore’s Ministry of Defense to jointly celebrate the 50th year of Singapore National Service and P&G’s 30th year in Singapore. Earlier this month, Gillette kicked off year-long celebrations to salute the NSmen of Singapore. This is in line with Gillette’s long-standing commitment to provide the best for every soldier – which dates back to World War I with Gillette shaving kits provided to all American soldiers.

 

To see full press release click here!

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Measuring Marketing ROI for Your International Websites

 

Clear and detailed return on investment. The holy grail for any marketer. The true measurement of the efficacy of marketing activity and its contribution to the business’ bottom line.

 

In the past, measuring marketing ROI, even on a relatively limited scale, was immensely difficult due to the lack of sophisticated analytics and measurement tools. Businesses would find themselves unable to validate their expenditure on marketing, as they were completely unsure as to how, or what marketing activity contributed to the business’ bottom line success or lack of it!

 

Fortunately, with the ascent of marketing automation platforms, tracking software and website analytics tools, reporting with forensic accuracy on every element of your marketing campaign is now relatively straightforward.

 

As a result, more and more marketing departments are being pushed by their board or CEO, who regularly asking them:

 

“What is the return on investment for our digital marketing activity?”

 

And, for some of these departments, the answer might still be:

 

“We don’t really know for sure.”

 

For marketing departments today, the importance of being able to readily provide marketing’s performance metrics, the conversion ratios, customer attribution paths and overall marketing ROI, is absolutely essential – and completely possible.

 

Accurately measuring marketing ROI will help you to understand the effectiveness of a particular campaign, as well as validate your expenditure on certain marketing activities.

 

With a clear and detailed return on investment report, you will have access to information which allows you to make more data-driven decisions and, with granularity, predict the business’ future sales lead generation activity.

 

For large, multi-national corporations (MNCs), this problem may be more apparent. As a large, international organisation, it is highly likely that there will be multiple websites over different regions, all of which are managed by different teams who may not communicate regularly with their international counterparts and instead are operating in silos.

 

In addition, as these teams are operating in isolation, the metrics each department is monitoring and tracking may differ, and as a result, it becomes incredibly difficult and frustrating for international marketing directors to convey the ROI of their marketing activity.

 

It’s important to appreciate that, no matter the scale of your business, having clear alignment across your marketing and sales departments in regards to the metrics that actually matter (Key Performance Indicators) and the goals of your marketing activity, will allow you to build reports that actually demonstrate marketing’s true progress and performance.

 

With these points considered, you can start to create reports that will provide clarity across your business. All multi-national organisation needs to address such things as:

 

  • SMART Goals,
  • Key Performance Indicators,
  • Team & Website Management,
  • Cross-channel Analytics,
  • Cross-channel Reporting,
  • International Comparative Reporting,
  • How to measure ROI in B2B Markets.

 

Additional reading:

 

This resource: How To Get ROI Reporting Running for your International Websites and find out how you can improve the value of your organisation’s marketing team.

 

If migration of your website is on your horizon, try this resource: Eight steps to International Website Migration.

March 30, 2017

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Sotheby’s International Realty® Opens in Singapore!

 

Connecting Ultra High Net Worth Clients to Luxury Residential Homes through its Global Footprint and Digital Capabilities!

 

Sotheby's Pic

 

To see full press release click here.

 

To see full article in The Business Times click here.

Agoda Outside Review_Member Blog

Agoda’s business is built on innovation, technology, and travel. Agoda Outside their new travel newsletter supports these goals through outreach, research, philanthropy, and building connections.

 

Agoda hopes the newsletter will inspire you to learn, think differently, and visit places you haven’t been to before. Content will come from a wide variety of sources, as well as original research. This month, they are sharing with you their latest white paper, on foreign independent travel.

 

Subscribe to their newsletter by clicking here and let them know if you have feedback here.

 

Happy reading.

 

Here is a snapshot of what the newsletter looks like:

Agoda Newsletter Snapshot

Stamford_american_international_school_Mar 1

 

PRESS RELEASE
EX-ANGRY BIRDS TEAM LAUNCH THE COOLEST SCIENCE LEARNING GAME ON THE PLANET IN SINGAPORE

 

Singapore, March 23 2017, Angry Birds and Rovio veterans teamed up with the brains from CERN and Oxford to create the best science learning game on the planet, Big Bang Legends. The first game by Finland-based learning game studio Lightneer, integrates both casual and fun gameplay with educational content about particle physics. The Game launches today in Singapore and is available for free download from Appstore.

 

Peter Vesterbacka, Co-Founder of Lightneer, says “Finland and Singapore are world leaders in education and technology, both top the global PISA scores, but with wholly different mindsets. It’s great to launch our first game in Singapore bringing the two leaders together.”

Big Bang Legends app is free to download. For a monthly subscription of 1.49 SGD, users can go ad-free and gain access to exclusive video learning content tailor-made by expert professors from Oxford & CERN. Game levels consists of puzzles and mazes, various kinds of antimatter monsters and collectible rewards. The periodic table becomes familiar when collecting and upgrading all 118 unique characters with special superpowers, and by playing, teach the element names and symbols.

 

Lauri Järvilehto, CEO of Lightneer says: “We want to make the playful and inclusive Finnish model accessible to everybody in the world to get great learning results through fun learning.” “Five years ago we’d joke that one day we’ll teach quantum physics to five-year-olds. Now we’re seeing five-year-olds playing Big Bang Legends and having conversations about quarks, protons and atoms. It’s pretty amazing.”

 

WORLD’S TOP GAME DEVELOPERS TEAMED UP WITH WORLD’S TOP SCIENTISTS

Lightneer’s team consists of Finland’s game industry veterans with backgrounds at companies like Rovio, Digital Chocolate and Gameloft. Lightneer’s advisory board includes global gaming and science legends such as Oxford Professor Marcus du Sautoy, CERN Head of Global Outreach Rolf Landua and former Mattel and Sega CEO Tom Kalinske.

 

As the global lead market, the game launches in Singapore today. Student game workshops were led at schools, such as Stamford American International School (SAIS) whose students first beta-tested the concept yesterday. “”, says Craig Kemp, Head of Education Technology at SAIS.

 

Big Bang Legends_Stamford_Blog

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20 MARCH 2017 (SINGAPORE) – Stamford American International School (www.sais.edu.sg) wrapped up an amazing Nobel Laureate 2017 series with its third visitor on Monday, March 20, with a visit from Dr. Peter Agre, the 2003 Nobel Laureate for Chemistry, for his research concerning channels in cell membranes.
As part of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, our Biology and Chemistry DP students were treated to an intimate masterclass with this esteemed mentor, where they shared Q&A with Dr. Agre as his medical research gave them plenty of food for thought regarding their questions on Malaria and the role of science in day to day life.

 

Dr. Agre’s fascinating discovery which earned him the Nobel Prize succeeded in isolating a membrane protein that he realized must be the long-sought-after water channel out of and into cells. This discovery opened the door to a whole series of biochemical, physiological and genetic studies of great importance for the understanding of many diseases of e.g. the kidneys, heart, muscles, nervous system, eyes and secretory glands. He then went on to donate his life’s work to aquaporins working with a vast team of professional researches in many given interrelated fields. He emphasised that “Science comes from a community even though the Nobel Prize was awarded to me as an individual”. He also celebrated the international friendships he built throughout his career with fellow scientists. He urged students to recognize the value of science on society and build “scientific friendships” which can overcome different political views. With shared experiences, scientists may produce results that one cannot predict.

 

Dr. Peter Agre is a Professor of Biological Chemistry and Professor of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine as well as the Director of the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute at the Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. His laboratory became widely recognized for discovering the aquaporins, a family of water channel proteins found throughout nature and responsible for numerous physiological processes in humans including kidney concentration as well as the secretion of spinal fluid, aqueous humor, tears, sweat and the release of glycerol from fat. Aquaporins have been implicated in multiple clinical disorders including fluid retention, bedwetting, brain edema, cataracts, heat prostration and obesity, and if aquaporin could be manipulated, it could potentially solve medical problems such as fluid retention in heart diseases and brain edema after strokes. Water transport in lower organisms, microbes and plants also depend upon aquaporins.

 

Dr. Agre also delivered a keynote address to 400 Stamford American Middle School Students from Grades 7 and 8, and Parents at the Reagan Theater finishing off with a humorous rendition of a science ditty which included 102 of the scientific elements attracting a large cheer from his appreciative young audience.
Dr. Agre’s visit to the School marks the final visit in a series of three Nobel Laureate visits to Stamford American this academic year that included His Excellency Jose Manuel Barroso, the 11th President of the European Commission and Former Prime Minister of Portugal, who received the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the European Union and Prof. Robert Engle III 2003 Nobel Laureate for Economics and Michael Armellino Professor of Finance at New York University’s Stern School of Business, New York/USA.

 

The 2017 Nobel Laureate Series is a joint collaboration with the International Peace Foundation. Stamford American regularly invites expert mentors to the school to inspire and work with its students through its Global Mentor Program. Past mentors have included Retired U.S. General David Petraeus, actress Jane Seymour, football superstar Roberto Carlos and U.N. Environmental Program Goodwill Ambassador John Francis.

 

Dr. Eric Sands, Superintendent of Stamford, had this to say, “We empower our students to be all that they want to be. Despite their vast accomplishments, I am convinced that our students were touched by these Nobel Laureates, who shared not only their successes but their personal journeys throughout their research especially the impact school had on their early formative years”.
About Stamford American International School

Prof Peter Agre with Stamford Students