Archive for September, 2009
The surging mainland economy and Beijing’s expansionary policies have China-focused companies eager to capitalize on the bright outlook (by F. Balfour and B. Einhorn, BusinessWeek, September 21, 2009).
After the collapse of Lehman Brothers a year ago, things were looking grim for American gambling tycoons Steve Wynn and Sheldon Adelson. The two had expanded into Macao, China’s gambling hub, just as the Chinese economy was slowing and Beijing was tightening rules on travel to Macao in a bid to fight money laundering. That meant fewer Chinese were able to gamble at casinos owned by Wynn Resorts (WYNN) and Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands (LVS).
On September 21, 2009, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) announced that the deadline for taxpayers to voluntarily disclose unreported income from offshore accounts has been extended from this Wednesday, September 23, 2009, to October 15, 2009. The IRS cautioned, however, that this is a one-time extension and “there will be no further extensions.”
In general, the voluntary disclosure program for offshore accounts, which was announced by the IRS on March 26, 2009, enables a U.S. taxpayer to become compliant with reporting obligations, avoid harsher civil penalties, and may eliminate the risk of criminal prosecution.
Switzerland tops the overall ranking in The Global Competitiveness Report 2009-2010, released by the World Economic Forum ahead of its Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2009 in Dalian. The United States falls one place to second position, with weakening in its financial markets and macroeconomic stability. Singapore, Sweden and Denmark round out the top five. European economies continue to prevail in the top 10 with Finland, Germany and the Netherlands following suit. The United Kingdom, while remaining very competitive, has continued its fall from last year, moving down one more place this year to 13th, mainly attributable to continuing weakening of its financial markets. The People’s Republic of China continues to lead the way among large developing economies, improving by one place this year, solidifying its position among the top 30. Among the three other large BRIC economies, Brazil and India also improve, while Russia falls by 12 places. Several Asian economies perform strongly with Japan, Hong Kong SAR, Republic of Korea and Taiwan, China also in the top 20. In Latin America, Chile is the highest ranked country, followed by Costa Rica and Brazil.
The Finnish phonemaker is responding to Apple’s iPhone by forging into new businesses. Some analysts say it has a fighting chance (by J. Ewing, BusinessWeek).
A rise in the number of stay-at-home shoppers in Japan means the online shopping industry outstrips sales at department stores and convenience stores (by H. Tashiro, BusinessWeek).
After several delays, the E-Verify regulations take effect today. Under the regulations, new federal contracts and contracts which must be modified will include a requirement that the federal contractors and subcontractors use the E-Verify system to verify their employees’ eligibility to work in the United States (by Taft, Stettinius and Hollister).
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service has recently launched a new trade database for businesses and federal agencies.
The Global Agricultural Trade System (GATS), includes international agricultural, fish, forest and textile products trade statistics dating from the inception of the Harmonized coding system in 1989 to present.