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Metal Casting Technologies : June 2007
www.metals.rala.com.au 14 BRIEFINGS Materials Processing Technology Forum to come to Thailand in 2008 The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society (TMS) from the USA will hold the third Materials Processing Technology Forum -- PMP-III in Bangkok during 7-10th December 2008. The previous PMP forums were held in 1993 in Honolulu, Hawaii and in 2000 in San Francisco, California. To organize PMP- III TMS will be joined by the Mining & Materials Processing Institute of Japan (MMIJ) and the National Metals & Materials Technology Centre of Thailand (MTEC). The symposium will cover all materials processing aspects with the emphasis on electronics, energy and the environment. China's New Corporate Income Tax Law The annual meeting of the Chinese National People's Congress (NPC) approved a new Corporate Income Tax Law that equalizes corporate tax rates for both foreign and domestic companies. Under the previous corporate tax regime foreign companies enjoyed preferential rates, paying as little as 15% depending on where they operated in the country, compared with domestic companies who paid as much as 33%. Although the changes to the corporate tax regime will have a significant impact on China's investment environment going forward, they should not be viewed with too much alarm by existing or potential foreign investors. Firstly, the existing regime established almost three decades ago to attract foreign investment was viewed as being too one-sided and in need of reform. China's longer term economic and political stability is likely to benefit from the unified tax regime. Secondly, although the changes seem drastic, there are provisions within the legislation that will lessen the impact of the reforms. For example, the new tax regime will be implemented over a five- year period with the tax rate for foreign companies increasing by 2% annually. Additionally, companies in government-designated priority sectors (e.g. technology innovation and advancement, infrastructure construction and environmental protection) will benefit from reduced tax rates, one specific example being that high-tech companies will only pay 15% in corporate taxes. Furthermore, the western region of the country, an area where the central government is keen to stimulate economic growth, will benefit from a reduced tax rate of 15%. This legislation should not be considered to be reflective of an anti- foreign investment streak within the central government, but rather it should be viewed as a tool the government is employing to shape and direct investment coming into the country. The new legislation will also provide a degree of continuity and transparency to China's opaque tax regime. Global Demand for Titanium Metal Expanding Rapidly Demand for titanium metal is expanding rapidly in North America, Europe and particularly Asia. Production of titanium sponge, which makes up about 75% of feed for titanium melting, increased from 74kt in 2003 to 124kt in 2006. A new report from market analysts Roskill, notes that tightness in sponge supply, which pushed prices up to unprecedented level since 2005 and 2006, had eased by the start of 2007. The Economics of Titanium Metals (4th Edition, 2007) explains that the explosive growth in Chinese demand for titanium metal is the most notable feature of the world market for titanium metal since 2003. This has arisen mainly from heat exchangers, pipes, tanks and pump components in the power, chemical, petrochemical and other process industries. Shipments of titanium mill products in China reached a peak rate of about 20kt per year by the end of 2006, compared with less than 10kt in 2003. Projects that would increase China's titanium sponge capacity from about 18kt in 2006 to 56kt by the end of 2007, and to 126kt by 2010. For further information on The Economics of Titanium Metals (4th Edition, 2007) contact email@example.com Subscription Winner Congratulations to Robert Hansberry of ABC Castings Pty Ltd who is the winner of our Special Renewal Offer for June renewals. He will receive a complimentary one year subscription to MCT magazine.