Tag Archives: Business

Praxity Global Conference – Meeting New & Old Acquaintances in China

DJG TM China v1

Last week both I and my fellow partner David Gorton attended the Praxity annual global conference in Beijing. The event, like previous conferences, included a number of high profile speakers from a variety of backgrounds, covering a range of topics. The overriding theme was China and how the country and people have adapted to significant changes in a relatively short period of time.

The conference enabled us to make new connections and also meet old contacts. Developing new business opportunities was the key focus but there was a little time to visit certain historic sites including dinner in the Great Hall of The People, a visit to Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City and a walk along the Great Wall of China.

DJG TM China 2 v1

Although there was very little time during the conference to explore Beijing, the small part that I did manage to see was a play on the senses. The scale of Beijing is mind blowing, including both the number of people and the amount of traffic. Driving in Beijing is not for the faint hearted and having been involved in a crash in the taxi from the airport – thankfully nobody was hurt – I decided that I would not be hiring a car for any future visits!

Being part of Praxity enables PM+M to have direct contact with like-minded advisers in all four corners of the world including China, Australia, USA and Europe. The global conference allows attendees to meet and discuss opportunities face to face. Whilst difficult to measure the success of the conference on a personal level, it was informative and thought-provoking, if a little tiring!

The conference was extremely well organised and clearly takes a great deal of planning to ensure each day runs smoothly. Praise should be given to Graham and the rest of the team for delivering such an event no matter where in the world it is held. Thanks are also due to this year’s hosts, ShineWing, for their superb hospitality. Next year the conference is being held at Gleneagles in Scotland. A little closer to home and hopefully a safer drive!

Tim Mills – Corporate Finance Partner

Launching Business From Lancashire To China

BeijingThe People’s Republic of China is a complicated and amazing place – the world’s second largest economy, home to 1.5 billion people and a place experiencing change on a scale hard to imagine from the outside.  It also inspires vast amounts of comment and opinion, and much of this comes from people with strong prejudices.

I try very hard not to be prejudiced (“professional scepticism” is a corner stone of my role) and from my 5 days of immersion in China last week at the Global Praxity Conference in Beijing (presentations, Q&A, visits, reading, discussions …..) my potted summary is:

  • The Chinese economy is still very rapidly changing and new features are:
    Manufacturing, exports and construction are all still huge but are no longer growing;
    Domestic consumption and services are growing rapidly; and
    The cost of doing a lot of things in China is no longer any cheaper than in Britain
  • There are incredible opportunities in this changing economy for:
    Supplying the domestic consumers in China; and
    Working with the higher cost and more sophisticated businesses to deliver great and value added services.
  • Chinese markets are still very challenging, with particular challenges from:
    Uncertain protection for intellectual property rights (but signs of improvement);
    Erratic enforcement of rules, especially with State owned Enterprises; and
    Official decision-making – the crackdown on corruption seems to be real, with an unintended consequence that all decision-making is slowed down
  • Political and commercial links are at an all-time high between China and the UK
    Chinese sensitivities over criticisms of human rights have been eased;
    The UK economy has always been exceptionally open to international investment and Chinese capital is now taking full advantage (see Airport City in Manchester);
    Commercial links are improving, for example the expansion of direct flights to China from Manchester.

The key point is unquestionably that you can leverage great success but it requires care and effort. PM+M’s allies in China are ShineWing, the largest domestic Chinese accountancy firm.  They are thoroughly accustomed to working with western businesses, helping them deal with the challenges of the Chinese market and avoid the regulatory pitfalls.  We can introduce you to great people to talk to in Beijing, in Shanghai, in Hong Kong and can draw on the network of 23 offices around China.

If you’re thinking of doing business or already do business in China, please get in touch. I can be contacted at david.gorton@pmm.co.uk or on 07710 703463.

David Gorton – Senior Partner and Head of Corporate Services

Where Next For East Lancashire?

shutterstock_5641843East Lancashire is an area blessed with great businesses and proud lively communities.

The businesses have strong roots in many directions: the world class advanced engineering specialisms driven by the BAE sites at Salmesbury and Warton; textile and engineering businesses born in the nineteenth century which have evolved and prospered; high value knowledge based businesses run by people who live in the Ribble Valley as they consider it the best place in the world to live; and businesses started from the local entrepreneurial community, including many from families recently arrived from Asia.

The vibrant local communities do not fit easily into local authority boundaries and the centres of the local towns have not adjusted to the changes in retail and leisure over the last 50 years, let alone the last 20.  Heroic efforts are being made to improve central districts, but the real sources of pride for the region are the people: their energy, their entrepreneurship, their international links and their businesses.

The future looks particularly bright for the advanced engineering sector, but manufacturing is strong across the region. There are also a lot of design and creative companies with massive potential.

The challenge for local leaders is to make it clear to potential business partners, investors and residents how great the area as a whole is, and what potential it has, without legacy issues such as town centres, fragmented local government and poor reputations distracting them.

The good news is that this challenge is being met, with improving links between the business world and government and a real focus on showcasing success, especially business success.

David Gorton – Senior Partner & Head of Corporate Services

General Election 2015 – What It Means For Businesses

shutterstock_145853606As the shock of the recent election outcome draws to a close, business owners are starting to think about what it means for them and their business.

Regardless of individual political views, the fact that we have a majority government should mean that we can expect some certainty and stability in the economy. The Government can continue with their economic plan and Britain will not have to endure the handover and settling in process that comes with a new Government coming into power.

We would expect that this would translate into increased business confidence and, in turn, into business investment. This should ensure that economic growth will continue to move in the right direction, creating opportunities for many businesses and business owners.

In the short term, the hot topics will be tax and continuing austerity measures which the Government can pursue without the former constraints imposed by coalition and minority rule.

It is widely expected that there will be a second Budget. We do not envisage this containing anything substantially damaging to businesses, but as always there may be devils in the detail as the Chancellor introduces more measures to counter tax avoidance.

Certainty as to the future of the capital allowances Annual Investment Allowance would be welcomed sooner rather than later.  As it stands, the current £500,000 allowance, which gives up front tax relief for capital expenditure, is set to reduce to £25,000 on 1 January 2016.  In his last Budget speech the Chancellor indicated that he would not allow it to reduce to that level, but would not commit to what the new amount would be. Prolonging this uncertainty is likely to be damaging to business capital investment plans, so the sooner it is fixed, the better.

It will also be interesting to see how the Conservative proposals for a new inheritance tax allowance for houses passed down the family evolve. The initial proposals were complex, but potentially of great benefit to many families.

In the longer term, the prospect of a referendum in 2017 to determine the UK’s ongoing membership of the EU is likely to cause major uncertainty for British businesses.

For more information on tax measures or if you would like any advice, please get in touch with the tax team on 01254 679131 or email tax@pmm.co.uk.

Budget 2014 Seminar

The date is set and on 19th March the Chancellor will be revealing his Budget for 2014 to Parliament.

The following day PM+M will be providing a free seminar in which our tax, business and financial planning specialists will provide in depth analysis of how the budget will affect businesses and individuals.

The Budget affects everyone in the UK from private business owners to pensioners. One of the most difficult aspects given the volume of information released is breaking it down, looking through the rhetoric and ascertaining exactly how it specifically affects you and your business.

Our team will supply jargon-free, pertinent information and guidance that will enable you to come away from our seminar confident that you understand the changes affecting you and know what planning is available to you. And if you still have questions then we will be running a Q&A session at the end of the seminar where you can raise any further issues or queries.

With the next election just over 12 months away it is likely that George Osborne will be keen to continue to promote the UK’s economic revival. With this in mind, the Spring Budget may well see a continued commitment to long-term strategies of perpetuating growth in the UK and reducing the deficit. If this is the case and the government decides to reduce borrowing, then the onus will be on the taxpayer and business owners to sustain growth. By seeking out expert advice in the immediate aftermath of the budget you can ensure are fully prepared to meet the financial challenges of the coming months.

Seminar details:

Date     Thursday 20th March
Time     8:30am breakfast – seminar will start at 9:00am and finish around 10:00am with
questions and coffee afterwards
Venue  The Dunkenhalgh Hotel, Clayton-le-Moors, BB5 5JP

Our past budget seminars have proved to be very popular events so reserve your place now to avoid disappointment.

To book a place please email Lorraine Cade on Lorraine.cade@pmm.co.uk or call 01254 679131.

Rick Brierley – PM+M Marketing Team

Autumn Statement 2013 – Key Points

Earlier today the Chancellor delivered the 2013 Autumn Statement here’s a summary of what we think were Mr Osborne’s most important points.

In terms of measures to help business, the Chancellor:

  • confirmed that he will continue with his plan to reduce the main rate of corporation tax to 20% by 2015
  • business rate increases to be capped at 2% in 2014
  • extended the doubling of the Small Business Rates Relief scheme to April 2015
  • provided business rates discounts of £1,000 per annum for two years for small retail businesses and introduced a temporary reoccupation relief for empty retail premises
  • didn’t say anything about the £250,000 Annual Investment Allowance which is due to end on 31 December 2014
  • froze fuel duties for the remainder of this parliament
  • introduced an exemption from employers’ NIC for young people aged under 21 and announced a reform of apprenticeship funding
  • brought in the previously heralded incentives to encourage the sale of businesses to genuine employee share ownership structures and allow tax free bonus payments from such entities of up to £3,600 per annum
  • announced that, following consultation over the summer into the way that loans to participators from close companies are taxed, he does not intend to make any immediate changes in this area.
  • introduced anti avoidance legislation with immediate effect to counter the tax benefits of having corporate members of partnerships and LLP’s
  • introduced some specific measures to counter certain contrived tax avoidance arrangements

 As regards personal tax:

  • the £10,000 personal allowance comes into effect in April 2014 as planned
  • married couples will be able to tarnsfer £1,000 of their personal allowance from April 2015, but only if neither is a higher rate tax payer
  • the state pension age is set to increase to 68 from the mid 2030’s and then 69 from the late 2040’s
  • the planned reduction in pension contribution annual limits from £50,000 to £40,000 and the lifetime limit reduction to £1.25m will take effect in April 2014 as planned
  • introduced a UK capital gains tax charge on the sale of UK residential property by non residents with effect from April 2015, in respect of increases in value after that date
  • tinkered with Principal Private Residence relief to reduce the exempt final period of ownership from 3 years to 18 months, thus slightly reducing the tax benefits from flipping residences
  • introduced a new Class 3A voluntary NIC contribution for pensioners wishing to top up their state pension entitlement
  • there were no changes to capital gains tax entrepreneurs’ relief or to inheritance tax
  • the introduction of the new Universal credit system will continue as planned

Other measures:

  • the proposed trust simplification measures that have been consulted on over the summer will be introduced in part in 2015, but further consultation is to take place on certain aspects
  • the heralded amendments to the Community Amateur Sports Club rules will take effect from April 2014

Jane Parry, Tax Partner.