Exactly 20 years after they started, representatives from the European Union and Mercosur concluded negotiations on one of the biggest trade deals in history. The EU is the South American bloc’s first major trade partner, and the new agreement is the largest ever for both sides.
Trade-agreement negotiations between the EU and the four South American countries that comprise Mercosur have dragged on for 17 years, but they’ve taken on a new urgency due to US protectionist policies. The two sides aim to finalize an agreement by the end of the year.
The ad hoc development of e-commerce policies for value-added taxes (“VAT”) has resulted in a hodgepodge of inconsistent tax regulations that vary widely by country. Recognizing the growing importance of e-commerce, the confusion resulting from current systems, and the magnitude of frequently forgone VAT revenue, many countries as well as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (“OECD”) have set out to clarify, systematize and coordinate VAT regulations. These changes, many of which have been or are being implemented in 2015, have significant implications for businesses with e-commerce operations. Understanding and complying with these VAT laws is important to success in international e-commerce.
As businesses increasingly compete globally for the best and brightest workers, some governments are pushing back to make sure locals don’t get left by the wayside. Many countries are tightening their immigration laws, while others — particularly those facing a decline in working-age population — are liberalizing them. It’s important to stay on the right side of these changing laws: penalties for breaking them range from “snap audits” by the authorities to fines, imprisonment and loss of the right to sponsor future employees. Here’s a look inside the immigration kaleidoscope in 2015.
In this week's Global Glance, we look at the best and worst global vacation destinations, Lollapalooza in Colombia and Arab TV in Israel.