Report urges payroll tax cuts
A government-commissioned report will urge France to cut 30 billion euros (US$39.09 billion) in payroll taxes over two to three years to increase the country’s competitiveness, newspaper Le Figaro said on its Web site on Friday citing unnamed sources. The lost revenue would have to be covered by massive cuts in public spending — far beyond the 10 billion euro savings envisaged in next year’s budget — as well as rises in VAT and the CSG levy that helps to fund France’s social security system, the newspaper said. The cuts would only apply to wages up to 3.5 times the minimum wage, currently set at 9.4 euros an hour before tax, or 1,425.67 euros a month, the Web site said. French business leaders have long called for a decrease in payroll taxes, which rank amongst the highest in the world.
Nissan set to create US jobs
Japanese automaker Nissan announced plans on Friday to add 810 jobs to its Tennessee factory to support a third shift as it expands local production of its core models. Nissan said it aims to have 85 percent of all Nissan and Infiniti products that are sold in the US produced in North America by 2015. “The dedicated workforce in Tennessee continues to build high-quality vehicles that compete and win globally, and we’re committed to ensuring this doesn’t change,” Nissan Americas vice chairman Bill Krueger said in a statement. With Friday’s announcement, Nissan has added more than 2,000 jobs at the facility since last year, expanding the workforce to more than 6,000 people.
Asturias, islands seek aid
Spain’s Balearic Islands and Asturias became the latest regions to ask the central government for aid on Friday, raising concerns Spain may have to expand a 18 billion euro fund set up to help pay regional debts. Spain’s autonomous communities are struggling to cover their borrowing costs and their large debts are dragging on the country’s ability to rein in its deficit as it heads towards a European bailout. The Balearic Islands asked for 355 million euros of aid, while Asturias asked for 262 million euros, the local governments said, pushing the total number of regions that have asked for aid up to eight. The two requests mean that just over 17 billion euros of the fund has now been tapped, leaving it with scarce resources to cover other regions’ funding needs and raising the possibility the government will have to put in more money.
Starbucks faces backlash
Starbucks’ reputation among consumers in Britain has been hit by wave of criticism of its tax affairs from politicians and the media, pollster YouGov said. A report showed the coffee chain paid no tax on ￡1.2 billion (US$1.9 million) of sales in recent years by telling the taxman it was making no profit, even as it told investors the unit was “profitable.” YouGov said its BrandIndex survey of 2,000 people showed a drop in the its reputation score to minus-26 from 3. Starbucks’ Buzz score — whether people have heard anything positive or negative about the brand in the media or through word of mouth — is now minus-9 compared to zero before the report was published.
NO VIRUS BLUES: A SEMI Taiwan official said that the virus does not slow down the global semiconductor industry’s investment in manufacturing equipment The production value of the nation’s semiconductor industry is expected to grow 16.7 percent this year from last year, outpacing the global industry’s 3.3 percent growth, industry association SEMI said yesterday. That would help Taiwan safeguard its second spot in the global semiconductor market with a production value of more than NT$3 trillion (US$102.73 billion), SEMI Taiwan president Terry Tsao (曹世綸) told a media briefing in Taipei for the Semicon Taiwan trade show beginning today. The global semiconductor industry’s production value is expected to increase to US$426 billion this year, SEMI said. In terms of semiconductor equipment investment, equipment billings from Taiwanese firms
Intel Corp has received licenses from US authorities to continue supplying certain products to Huawei Technologies Co (華為), a company spokesman said yesterday. Washington has been pushing governments around to world to squeeze out Huawei, saying that the telecom giant would hand data to Beijing for espionage. From Monday last week, new curbs have barred US companies from supplying or servicing Huawei. This week, the state-backed China Securities Journal reported that Intel had received permission to supply Huawei. China’s Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC, 中芯國際), which uses US-origin equipment to make chips for Huawei and other companies, last week confirmed that it had sought
Taipei Times: When do you think the hospitality industry can return to how it was before the COVID-19 pandemic? How does Formosa International Hotels Group (FIH, 晶華酒店集團) fare this quarter and beyond? FIH chairman Steve Pan (潘思亮): The virus outbreak will have a serious impact on business travel, driven mainly by meetings, incentive travel, conferences and exhibitions over the past three decades. For the past six months, many businesspeople have grown used to exchanging information on the Internet, where more people can participate. The trend might sustain for three to five years until people are vaccinated and it is safe to
DIGITAL COMMERCE: In 2016, only 2 percent of orders were delivered in Taiwan, but that has risen to 10 percent, Foodpanda Taiwan Co operations director Nick Yu said Online food delivery platforms have seen explosive growth in Taiwan this year, helped by business opportunities related to the COVID-19 pandemic, company executives said at a digital commerce conference in Taipei yesterday. When the threat of COVID-19 kept people from going out to eat, more people experimented with ordering food deliveries online, Foodpanda Taiwan Co Ltd (富胖達) operations director Nick Yu (余岳勳) said. Foodpanda started operations in Taiwan in 2012. “We experienced 5,000 percent growth in the past 24 months,” Yu said. “That’s more than the previous six years combined.” In 2016, only 2 percent of food orders were delivered in Taiwan, but that