EuropeFides in Cologne

Written by Im Sooi Lean on 26 June 2017

The EuropeFides AGM in Cologne was held at art’otel, a unique art and design hotel nestled on the Rhine’s embankment and within walking distance of the city.

Starting off with a Cross-Border Collaboration & Community seminar and panel discussion. Dr. Angela Harth of Keussler Lawyers, Darmstadt gave a presentation on Secondment of Employees and the legal issues associated with tax and social security. She also covered the contractual relationships between seconder, secondee and employee. Dr. Harth’s expertise is in Employment and Labour Law. She was with the London office of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP for five years.

Then it was the panel discussion on Business Opportunities and Challenges in Asia. The panelists were the members of EuropeFides operating from China, Singapore and India. It was interesting to hear the views of these panelists regarding the opportunities coming from China, Singapore, and Hong Kong and on overcoming the challenges in India. There was plenty of positive interest from the members of EuropeFides and of course, great opportunities for WSM and our clients.

Session two after lunch kicked off with Transfer Pricing and Permanent Establishment from Hans-Gunter Dillenburg and followed by a short presentation on Electronic Services and VAT from, GTK, our host.  After a coffee break, we continued with an EU VAT Workshop – a case study discussing the VAT treatment of cross border chain transactions. The EuropeFides members outlined the specifics of their national laws. This will be useful to WSM advising clients with cross border VAT transactions.

We ended the day with a presentation from ACT Advisory Services Limited of Malta, as corporate advisor for the Maltese Stock Exchange’s PROSPECTS platform. PROSPECTS is a new tool for SMEs to enter the capital market.

Saturday was the Annual General Assembly. This included exchanges between members on marketing and EuropeFides to Asia – mainly China, Singapore and India. With a meeting planned in Singapore early next year.

There were presentations from potential new members from India, Algeria, Serbia, Singapore, Hong Kong and from our very own neighbour, Morrisons Solicitors representing the UK.

The collaboration between WSM and Morrisons will make us the ideal representative in the UK to EuropeFides members and their clients requiring tax, audit & advisory services, and now, legal services.

Networking in Cologne was a success for WSM. Originating from the Far East made it easier for potential new members from Asia to connect with me as I understand their culture. As our member from India pointed out in the panel discussion, understanding the local culture is the key to overcoming the challenges of business in India. WSM already has referrals from China and Singapore, who knows what the future brings!

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Im Sooi Lean
Corporate Client Director