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Chinese business in Zim increasingly compliant with local requirements

Last week, Chinese businesses held a groundbreaking seminar with the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority to foster knowledge about the country’s taxation laws.

The Chinese industrialists say they are keen on increasing compliance with local conditions, including compliance with labour and environmental laws.

The development indicates the growing maturity of Chinese businesses, which are shouldering a large responsibility as the largest bloc of foreign investors in the Southern African nation, employing over 100,000 locals.

Attendees included representatives from the Chamber of Chinese Enterprises in Zimbabwe (CCEZ), the Zimbabwe Chinese Business Association, the Chinese Federation of Zimbabwe, and the Zimbabwe Association of Chinese New Energy Miners.

A total of 67 companies, and 120 people attended this event, representing large-scale companies undertaking bilateral projects, Chinese state-linked companies, global giants with listings in various stock exchanges, and medium and small-scale enterprises.

Shanel Liu, the vice president of the Chamber of Chinese Enterprises in Zimbabwe explained that the tax seminar was interactive, and part of a raft of compliance measures by Chinese companies, big and small.

“The primary objectives of this engagement were to foster a better understanding of the taxation laws and regulations in Zimbabwe, promote compliance among Chinese enterprises operating in the country, and explore ways to enhance cooperation between the two entities,” Liu said.

The seminar featured a presentation by ZIMRA on their new Tax and Revenue Management System (TaRMS) and its significance for companies operating in Zimbabwe.

Additionally, presentations on compliance and rebates were delivered, providing attendees with valuable information on these topics. Following each presentation, a question and answer session was held, allowing participants to discuss various tax issues.

Topics covered included Value Added Tax (VAT) refunds, the registration of tax agents, double taxation agreements (DTAs), tax incentives, and more.

“The seminar witnessed active participation from members of the Chinese business community, demonstrating their eagerness to engage and address tax-related matters,” Liu said.

She explained that the event provided a platform for knowledge sharing, fostering a better understanding of tax regulations and compliance requirements.

The interaction also allowed for participants to address any concerns or challenges they may face in meeting their tax obligations.

Liu said: “Overall, the seminar hosted by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority in collaboration with the Chinese enterprises in Zimbabwe was a resounding success.”

The Chinese businesses aim for greater compliance with local conditions.

Liu explained: “In addition to taxation, our organisation recognizes the importance of compliance in other areas as well.

“Going forward, we will continue to engage with relevant stakeholders to promote best practices in areas such as labor laws, environmental regulations, corporate governance, and social responsibility.”

Responsible business

The increasing compliance with local conditions by Chinese companies has not gone unnoticed.

Last week, several Chinese companies were honoured by the ESG Network, an organisation that promotes responsible and sustainable business practices under the framework of Equity, Environmental, Economic and Social Governance (EESG).

EESG is a globally recognised reporting framework on how companies can meet their goals of profit with other responsibilities for a sustainable business model.

A number of Chinese companies – the largest single bloc on the night – scooped various awards on corporate social responsibility and sustainable business practices.

The companies included Sinomine Bikita Minerals, Dinson Group (with its subsidiaries, Afrochine Smelting, Dinson Iron and Steel Company, Dinson Colliery and Gwanda Lithium); Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt’s Prospect Lithium Zimbabwe, Jin An Corporation, Zimasco, Sabi Star Mine, South Mining, among others.

These companies have been involved in various projects to serve the communities they operate in, as well as their employees.

Chinese companies have constructed roads, bridges, schools, houses, clinics and provided food and other social assistance to mostly vulnerable rural communities.

The employers have also done – and continue to do – various employee-focused initiatives regarding safety, wellness and lately, fighting drug abuse.

Source: The Zimbabwe Mail