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Accounting firm eyeing global growth

By Ren Xiaojin | China Daily | Updated: 2017-11-14 09:09

Accounting firm eyeing global growth

Employees marking denim trousers for cutting at a Chinese-owned factory in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. China's outbound investment has been upgrading in structure from energy and infrastructure to new energy, high-tech and other services.LI SIBO/XINHUA

Chinese accounting firm Zhongshen Zhonghuan is looking to explore the international markets in a big way after joining hands with its European counterpart Mazars Group recently, according to a senior member of the firm.

Mazars' established global presence, including 290 offices and 18,000 employees in 79 countries and regions, and its proficiency in international financial laws and tax policies will help Zhongshen Zhonghuan provide better services to Chinese companies planning outbound investment, said Zhang Liwen, a member of the firm's management board.

"Tax policies between each country differ a lot, and tax services are one of the most sought-after services when companies look for global expansion," said Zhang.

"Now we can provide Chinese companies with localized tax services through Mazars' offices in 79 countries and regions. We are positioning ourselves not only as a domestic audit firm but as an international player. We can use Mazars' advantage in banking and insurance sector to help Chinese firms with overseas expansion," she said.

The tie-up follows the Ministry of Finance's recent statement urging Chinese audit firms to embrace global practices.

"The Chinese audit industry needs to catch up while Chinese companies are actively involved in outbound investment," Zhao Mingji, an assistant minister of finance said during a seminar last week. "The industry needs to make its voice heard in the global stage."

Outbound investment has been upgrading in structure from energy and infrastructure to new energy, hightech and other services, according to Zhongshen Zhonghuan.

"State-owned enterprises have been leading in outbound investment, especially after the Belt and Road Initiative was initiated," Zhang said.

"The country has called for further opening-up and the private sector will follow the same path as SOEs. We have already seen companies like Huawei and Xiaomi mapping out their international expansion strategy," she added.

Zhang said there were many investment opportunities in the economies involved in the initiative, especially in Africa and Southeast Asia. Apart from infrastructure projects that mainly concern SOEs, there is tremendous investment potential for the private sector in service industries.

"The private sector is looking for more mergers and acquisitions and green investment in international markets," said Shi Wenxian, chief partner of Zhongshen Zhonghuan.

Shi added that the opportunity for growth not only came from firms going global, but also from the transfer of government functions.

"The Chinese government has shifted its focus to provide better social services and administration and it is more than willing to hire third parties including audit firms to do financial tasks such as budgeting," he said.

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