The technology industries - semiconductors, software, computers and networking and the investors that supply them - profoundly influence our lives. Though the sector has matured over the past 25 years, technology companies wrestle with constant challenges. Access to capital, faster time-to-market, and finding, attracting and keeping the right talent is more critical than ever. So is managing stakeholders and financial market expectations. Likewise, convergence - now a common theme running through all technology industries - brings new and fundamental challenges to industry players.
Communications companies are experiencing what many analysts and industry insiders would term the perfect storm - a sluggish economy, depressed revenues and a lingering capacity glut, coupled with a cash crunch, heavy debt and eroding franchises. Add to these woes, fierce competition, transformational innovation and complex new regulations. The result? The industry is undergoing a sea of change as retrenchment and consolidation speed up.
The current challenges faced by the ICT industry are
Luxembourgish economy is characterised by a highly competitive service sector, which represents more than 85% of the added value of the national economy. A key factor for a successful competitive service economy is to have "state-of-the-art" ICT infrastructures and competencies:
Over the last couple of years, international companies providing electronic services have decided to run their European business from Luxembourg in order to benefit from the lowest VAT rate in Europe (ranging from 3% to 15% depending on the type of services). Indeed, for EU entities, the provision of these services from an establishment in the EU is taxed by reference to this establishment and the VAT rate of the country of establishment applies on all services provided to private persons across the EU ("B2C" e-business). The most popular actors of the e-commerce industry in Luxembourg have chosen PwC Luxembourg to assist them in their daily challenges.
Finally, subject to certain conditions, Luxembourg has recently allowed a partial IP tax exemption, which would apply, amongst others, to copyrights, patents and trade marks (normally including domain names). The tax exemption would be applied to 80% of the net positive income received in consideration from the use of, or the right to use, any qualifying IP, but also to the net capital gain in case of disposal. Luxembourg is thus becoming more and more an attractive IPjurisdiction.
Over the years, with the support of specific governmental and private initiatives, Luxembourg has become a visible place in the worldwide ICT landscape and is well equipped to face tomorrow's challenges and the opportunities of its economy.
At PwC, a dedicated team of professionals in audit, accounting, tax, IT, HR and finance effectiveness, who gained their expertise from working with a broad base of clients, assists ICT companies to meet their objectives and develop solutions tailored to their industry's needs.
The Luxembourg team is connected to the European and Global dedicated PwC teams serving this industry and providing it with advice and support.