Global businesses need to understand the cultural circuit comprising the country, institutions and individuals, said Pamela Young, Managing Director at consulting firm growthcurv and writer of an authoritative work on strategic and cultural change, Stepping Up.

On the second day of the CPAAI conference held at the Long Beach Hotel, Mauritius, on 13 June 2014, Young gave valuable insights into how cultures can help or hinder organisational development and market performance.

Interactive sessions were held under the theme “Cultures and attitudes – and their impact on firm growth”with groups of five to six delegates drawn from different cultures.

“The person you are and the leader you become is shaped by the countries you were born in, raised in and worked in,” she said, comparing culture to an iceberg as itkeeps evolving and requires effort to discover what lies beneath.

For her part, Glenda Nixon, Managing Partner of AccruFelsers with 30 years of experience as a taxation specialist, spokeon transfer pricing in Australia.

Australia expects more of its international clients to be selected for Transfer Pricing Audits and has successfully employed many anti-avoidance tools such as the CFC legislation, thin capitalisation rules and debt/equity substitution rules.

“Australia has substantially modernised its legislation around its transfer pricing rules mainly to ensure the rules are in better alignment with internationally accepted transfer pricing approaches set out by the OECD,” she mentioned.

Next up, Mitsuru Komiyama of CPA firm Komiyama & Co, spoke on transfer pricing in Japan and said that Japanese tax authorities are committing more and more resources to policing the transfer pricing regime.

“To date, many significant tax assessments based on transfer pricing adjustments have been received publicity. As a result, taxpayers should pay careful attention to Japan’s transfer pricing environment,” he said.

On the third and final day of the conference, digital transformation made a foray into finance, as Sanjeev Manrakhan, managing partner at Mauritius-based ICT major Anglo African Ltd, said that most finance people have at least an advisory, if not a decision-making role on the digital agenda.

He spoke onhow the use of Big Data Analytics increases visibility, insight and control over financial performance through predictive analytics.

He concluded on the note that the unleashing of certain cutting-edge technologies, such as mobile and cloud, among others, have seriously and deeply disrupted several industries and, inevitably, left a mark onfinancial services as well.

Next, Dev Chamroo, CEO, Enterprise Mauritius, made a presentation on Africa asan emerging destination for doing business.

He noted that, despite the wealth of opportunities, doing business in Africa is very difficult because businessmen must know the cultural context of the individualsthey are dealing with, as well astheethical procedures for doing business in Africa.

He observed, however, that combating these challenges would yield high rewards asAfrica is already Mauritius’ second largest market after the United Kingdom, with Rs 9 billion in export, and, by 2050, the continent would be at a high plane of development, surpassing even China and India.

Finally, Amit Chopra of Chopra and Associatesspoke on doing business in India, noting that India is the third largest economy in terms of GDP by purchasing power parity (PPP), holds 6.4% share of global GDP on PPP basis and has a GDP growth rate of 4.7%

He concluded that, in the light of liberalization of foreign trade and investment into India, the Indian government has implemented various special schemes to provide tax benefits and incentives, opening a window of opportunities for countries keen to invest in India and reap returns on its growth.

–          By Marie-Lorry Coret

Image (Marie-Lorry Coret): Pamela Young gave valuable insights into how cultures can help or hinder organisational development and market performance, on the second day of the CPAAI conference held at the Long Beach Hotel, Mauritius.

More business news on AfricaMoney