UAE and Kosovo sign tax deal

Chi­nese at­trac­tion open be­fore Dis­ney

7 Days in Dubai - - BUSINESS -

China’s largest pri­vate prop­erty de­vel­oper, the Wanda Group, opened an en­ter­tain­ment com­plex yesterday that it’s po­si­tion­ing as a dis­tinctly home­grown ri­val to Dis­ney and the US firm’s $5.5 bil­lion Shang­hai theme park open­ing next month.

Wanda ex­ec­u­tives un­veiled their $3 bil­lion Wanda City in the south­east­ern provin­cial cap­i­tal of Nan­chang to thun­der­ing mu­sic rem­i­nis­cent of the Pi­rates of the Caribbean theme and hailed the cen­tre as a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of Chi­nese en­ter­tain­ment cul­ture in the face of en­croach­ing for­eign in­flu­ences.

Wanda’s mas­sive site in­cludes an $800 mil­lion China-themed park filled with twirling “porce­lain teacup” rides and bam­boo forests, an in­door shop­ping mall with cin­e­mas, restau­rants, ho­tels and the world’s largest ocean park. Dis­ney is set to open its own re­sort in Shang­hai - the largest Dis­ney­land in the world - in June.

As a lead­ing player in Chi­nese firms’ glob­al­i­sa­tion push, the prop­erty group has in­vested heav­ily in the film and cin­ema busi­ness and has spo­ken openly about its na­tion­al­is­tic mis­sion to fend off Dis­ney in the Chi­nese mar­ket and be­come a global en­ter­tain­ment brand. In re­marks at yesterday’s open­ing, Wang Jian­lin, Wanda chair­man and China’s rich­est man, did not men­tion Dis­ney by name but said Chi­nese peo­ple “fawned” over Western im­ports.

“Chi­nese cul­ture led in the world’s for 2,000 years, but since the last 300 years, be­cause of our lag­ging de­vel­op­ment and the in­va­sion of for­eign cul­tures, we have more or less lacked con­fi­dence in our own cul­ture,” Wang said. “We want to be a model for Chi­nese pri­vate en­ter­prise, and we want to es­tab­lish a global brand for Chi­nese firms.”

Ear­lier this month he told Chi­nese state tele­vi­sion in an in­ter­view that Dis­ney’s foray into China would crum­ble un­der more com­pet­i­tive pric­ing from his group, and warned that the “the frenzy of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck and the era of blindly fol­low­ing them has passed”.

Seek­ing to cap­i­talise on China’s ris­ing mid­dle class, de­vel­op­ers are plan­ning dozens of Chi­nese theme parks, along with projects from US firms such as Uni­ver­sal Stu­dios and Six Flags. The UAE has signed two agree­ments re­lat­ing to the avoid­ance of dou­ble tax­a­tion on in­come and the pro­mo­tion of in­vest­ment with the Repub­lic of Kosovo. The sign­ing cer­e­mony took place in the cap­i­tal Pristina dur­ing an of­fi­cial visit of a UAE del­e­ga­tion headed by You­nis Haji Al Khoori, Un­der­Sec­re­tary of the Min­istry of Fi­nance, to the Repub­lic of Kosovo. Al Khoori said the UAE wants to strengthen in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions to at­tract more for­eign in­vest­ment and in­crease trade. “Th­ese agree­ments sup­port in achiev­ing the UAE’s de­vel­op­ment goals, di­ver­si­fy­ing sources of na­tional in­come and sup­port­ing the growth of for­eign in­vest­ments as well as pro­tect­ing it from any non-trade and po­lit­i­cal risks re­lated to the trans­fer of prof­its and rev­enues in con­vert­ible cur­rency,” he said. The UAE, rep­re­sented by the min­istry, has signed 97 fi­nal agree­ments on the avoid­ance of dou­ble tax­a­tion on in­come - where two or more ju­ris­dic­tions levy tax on the same de­clared in­come as­set or fi­nan­cial trans­ac­tion - and 58 agree­ments on pro­tec­tion and pro­mo­tion of in­vest­ment with key eco­nomic and trad­ing part­ners, na­tional news agency WAM re­ported.

AT­TRAC­TION: Wanda City is open af­ter be­ing for­mally launched (in­set) yesterday

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