DOING BUSINESS IN EUROPE


South African’s doing business in Europe

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Cost of buying citizenship

There is a clear difference between having citizenship in a country and being a resident, notes James Bowling, CEO of immigration consultants Monarch&Co.

“By achieving permanent residency, the person is allowed to reside for as long as the validity of the residency within a country of which he or she is not a citizen,” said Bowling.

“A person with such status is known as a resident or permanent resident of that country. Resident permits are issued for migrants who meet certain criteria and its validity is time based.”

“By obtaining citizenship in another country, the investor becomes a citizen of that country which entitles them to carry that country’s passport. “Depending on the countries involved, the investor will be able to keep their existing citizenship and passport and thus the new passport becomes their second passport.”

This is why these programmes are often referred to as second passport programmes,” he concluded.

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SA companies head for the exit door

The rand might have been one of the world’s strongest currencies last year, but that has not slowed the rush by South African capital for the exit door.

Nothing captures the waning confidence in South Africa than the following graph which shows direct investment by SA companies abroad. Last year it hit roughly R70 billion on a rolling four month cumulative basis up to September 2016. Back in 2012 it was zero.

Since then the rand has come back strongly, but corporate SA continues to vote with its feet, moving money abroad as fast as possible. Corporate owners are planning for the long term, spreading their assets outside of the country. The real motivation for this is the expectation of persistently low domestic growth – expected to be a shade over 1% in 2017. Money moves where the growth is, and that is outside of SA. The UK has been a particularly popular destination for companies such as Truworths, Brait, Woolworths and Steinhoff, all of which made UK acquisitions in recent years.

Read more at Moneyweb

Why chose the Netherlands?

The Netherlands is one of the five most competitive economies in the world. It has much to offer for foreign entrepreneurs and investors: for example, exceptional road, rail, sea and air infrastructure; digital infrastructure that is world-leading in terms of both speed and reliability; and a broad spectrum of (international) businesses with multilingual and productive employees. And besides the excellent business climate, there is the fantastic quality of life, with the Netherlands setting high standards in (international) education, healthcare and recreation.

With a competitive statutory corporate income tax rate in Europe—20% on the first €200,000 and 25% for taxable profits exceeding €200,000—the Dutch tax system has a number of attractive features for international companies:

A wide network of nearly 100 bilateral tax treaties to avoid double taxation and to provide, in many cases, reduced or no withholding tax on dividends, interest and royalties.