2018 in Review and the Year Ahead
2018 has been a challenging year for our international clients in China. A turn for the worse in US-China trade relations weighed down an already slowing Chinese economy, complicated the plans and operations of businesses, and dampened the confidence of consumers and investors.
Apart from hoping for regulatory or diplomatic breakthroughs, businesses in China should see these hard times as a wake-up call – a chance to drive improvements that, on sunnier days, seem less urgent. In our case, we saw the need for a profound HR and cultural transformation at Fiducia. In the latest issue of China Focus, we share our plan to evolve into a people-focused organisation, hoping that we’ll inspire others to reflect on how they too can become better employers and corporate citizens.
2018 – Year in Review
In the first part of our China Focus publication, we zoom into specific industries to see how they performed against a tough backdrop. A closer look reveals bright spots and resilient sub-segments even in poorly performing industries. For instance, while annual car sales are at risk of contracting for the first time in two decades, sales of e-vehicles are booming.
2019 – The Year Ahead
As we enter 2019, many of our clients in China are conservative in their forecasts. Aside from the trade conflict and its drag on the economy, they worry about a significant increase in local competition, rising costs, and remaining or even increasing regulatory hurdles.
But there’s a silver lining to the current geopolitical situation. If the Chinese government wants to soften an impending slowdown, it will have to go beyond just promising reform, and instead take action through fiscal and monetary measures that actually help businesses buffer current setbacks.
Important tax reforms have already been announced, or are in the cards, for 2019. Most will have positive implications for
foreign-invested companies, but the new Individual Income Tax (IIT) Law may not entirely be good news for expat employees.
We look forward to helping you overcome headwinds, drive change, and unlock opportunities in these uncertain times. Until then, from the entire Fiducia Team, we wish you a smooth start into the new year!