Asia Pacific Regional Forum publications

Asia Pacific Regional Forum Committee Publications

The Asia Pacific Regional Forum Committee publishes a variety of interesting articles and other content of relevance to the practice area. Some items are only available to Committee members via logging in after clicking on the item. Forgotten login details?

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Message from the Co-Chairs, September 2018 - China Working Group

A message from the Co-Chairs of the China Working Group Group, Caroline Berube and David Liu.
IBA APAG International Arbitration Training Day: Introduction to the IBA Soft Law Instruments - China Working Group

The event was presented by the IBA Asia Pacifc Arbitration Group (APAG), with support from the IBA Arbitration Committee, the IBA Asia Pacifc Regional Forum, Shenzhen Lawyers Association (SLA) and Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration (SCIA) on 21 April 2018, in Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration, Shenzhen, China. International practitioners were invited to speak on the topics including IBA Soft Law Instruments relating to international arbitration along with the recent developments in investment treaty arbitration.
Trade wars, WTO crisis and China’s response: reshaping global trade rules - China Working Group

Will 2018 be remembered as the beginning of the demise of the WTO Trade remedies, disputes, frictions, and wars. The global trade order is being reshaped with the WTO at the sidelines. Even worse, the dispute settlement mechanism, the 'crown jewel' of the WTO, may soon stop functioning. This article briefly discusses the trade wars and certain other actions started by the Trump administration, the WTO crisis created by such actions, China's responses to these actions, the resurgence of bilateralism and their impacts on the reshaping of global trade rules.
China to merge antitrust authorities - China Working Group

On 17 March 2018, the Chinese legislature decided on a major restructuring of governmental agencies, with a profound impact on antitrust enforcement in the country. Although there had been discussions and rumours for a while about the restructuring, the extent and significance of the planned reform measures went beyond the expectation of many commentators. It is clear that there will be major changes to the ministries and other institutions under the State Council.
The proposed individual income tax reform in China - what you need to know - China Working Group

The Draft Amendment to the Individual Income Tax Law was first reviewed during the 3rd Session of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People's Congress, which closed on 22 June 2018. On 29 June 2018, the Draft Amendment was published on the NPC's official website for a one-month period to receive feedback. In this article, we share the key changes the Draft Amendment proposes and their impact on individuals' income, if approved.
A brief introduction to the recent development of China Depositary Receipts - China Working Group

On 30 March 2018, the State Council of China promulgated the opinions on the pilot programme of China Depositary Receipt. The following promulgated regulations by the China Securities Regulation Commission opened the gate for red-chip companies to get financing from China's stock market. These acts have triggered extensive repercussions. The first half of 2018 has signalled the introduction of many liberalising changes with respect to the Chinese capital market and the promulgation of China Depositary Receipt (CDR)-related regulations should be in the spotlight.
The Arbitration Initiative under the Belt and Road Initiative - China Working Group

The Belt and Road Initiative has offered ample international trade opportunities to Chinese entrepreneurs with over 60 countries in Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia. However, the BRI has also come with a significant issue in term of practicality: there is no common culture and legal system among the countries in the BRI. This can be a political hindrance to the establishment or initiation of common legal institutions in the event of commercial disputes arising out of cross-border projects or international trade. What, therefore, is the dispute resolution option that these cross-border entrepreneurs could possibly resort to?
Top ten points for Chinese enterprises to bear in mind when they do M&A transactions in India: issues arising from differences - China Working Group

Investments by the Chinese have grown significantly over the past few years, with major players such as Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu and Fosun Group making significant investments in entities in India, such as Paytm, BigBasket and Ola, among others. Such investors seeking to engage in cross-border M&A and originating from China have had to address certain regulatory concerns from both an Indian and Chinese perspective. However, it is important to note that the governments of both these nations have taken positive steps to encourage investment activities and are in the process of establishing systems with the intention of reducing the imposition of onerous compliances on prospective investors.
Venturing into uncharted territory: a discussion of the changes brought by PRC Supervision Law and the challenges that might be faced - China Working Group

On 11 March 2018, the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) representatives adopted a constitutional amendment. Among others, the Amendment listed the Supervisory Commission as a state organ that operates alongside the administrative and judicial institutions. This makes it clear that the Supervisory Commission is an independent political institution. It does not take orders from the executive branch, nor from the judicial branch. In this sense, the establishment of the National Supervisory Commission ( NSC) marked a new era for China's top-level power structure, meaning the State Council, the NSC, the Supreme People's Court plus the Supreme People's Procuratorate.
Restrictions on FDI in Russia and China - China Working Group

Foreign investors in China and Russia enjoy generally national treatment, but, at the same time, there are some restrictions on FDI in Russia and China. Generally, these restrictions are connected with national security.
News corner: Negative List - China Working Group

The Special Administrative Measures on Access of Foreign Investment (Negative List) became effective from 28 July 2018. The List lays out sectors in which foreign investment shall be restricted/prohibited or subject to additional procedures.
Message from the Editor, May 2018

A message from the Editor of the Asia Pacific Regional Forum, Ramesh Vaidyanathan.
Message from the Co-Chairs, May 2018

A message from the Co-Chairs of the Asia Pacific Regional Forum, Akil Hirani and Ameera Ashraf.
Challenges faced by women lawyers in Pakistan

Women in developing countries face several challenges because cultural and structural factors have traditionally safeguarded the interests of men. In order to give fair representation to women lawyers there must be a joint commitment by government and judiciary.
Legal education crisis in Pakistan

The legal education system in Pakistan is in crisis. The Supreme Court has constituted a Committee to propose reforms regarding legal education and access. This article suggests that the relevant stakeholders should take this challenge collectively and implement the forthcoming recommendations by the Supreme Court.
Thailand's trademark enforcement and protection systems

Registration of trademark maybe the easiest part, the difficulty is in enforcement. Thailand has always taken counterfeit issues very seriously and a proactive role in what it can do to enforce trademark rights at customs. Thailand is moving fast in this area and coming up with new ways to combat counterfeit products in the market. The introduction of the Intellectual Property Rights Recordation System is being well received and showing signs of being effective. Educating the public is an important aspect in bringing awareness of the importance of brand protection in Thailand. The IP Office and other organisations such as Customs are also playing a big role.
India's proposed code on wages, 2017

The present Indian government has demonstrated its intent and commitment to improving the ease of business in India, promoting economic growth and job creation. Significant among the recent government initiatives are those aimed at simplifying India's unnecessarily complex employment law framework and digitising compliances under various employment laws. This article examines the key features of the new Wage Code and the effect it will have on Indian workers.
Why should Asian companies worry about the extraterritorial reach of the Brazilian anti-corruption enforcement?

At first glance, a public policy enforced by Brazil should not concern companies located in Asia. However, globalisation is making inroads with still unclear consequences for the Asian booming economies. This article looks at some high profile cases of corruption that have occurred in Brazil and warns that the unique combination of legislation and enforcement in Brazil could be a cause for concern for Asian investors.
The workplace regulator in Australia: exploitation and compliance

The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) is the Australian regulatory agency responsible for compliance with federal workplace laws. In recent years, the FWO has directed its focus and resources to prevent the exploitation of vulnerable workers, the poor record keeping that allows such practices to occur and the associated accessorial liability of third parties found to be involved in the contravention of the Fair Work Act, 2009. In this article we look at recent examples of how the FWO has pursued employer non-compliance in these areas, and some of the lessons that have emerged.
Policy document on anti-money laundering and counter financing of terrorism - digital currencies (sector 6)

In February, 2018, the Bank Negara Malaysia issued a policy document, Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism, which seeks to address certain aspects relating to digital currencies in Malaysia. This article looks at the key factors of the new policy.
Foreign direct investment: recent trends and limitations in the Asia-Pacific region

A report on the session led by the Closely Held and Growing Business Enterprises Committee with the Asia Pacific Regional Forum at the IBA Annual Conference in Sydney.
New challenges from online shopping ecosystems to traditional drafting of distribution agreements - China Working Group, April 2018

The annual November sales of all major online shopping platforms in China are expected to bring record highs, sometimes even on a global level. Foreign brand owners, however, have been comparatively slow in responding to this phenomenon, possibly because the major shopping platforms mostly serve the Chinese market. Further, some foreign brand owners who have participated have come to realise that they have not sufficiently understood the online shopping ecosystems prior to being granted distribution rights.
Shanghai Intermediate People's Court refuses to enforce SIAC arbitral award - China Working Group, April 2018

In August 2017, the Shanghai No 1 Intermediate People's Court denied recognition and enforcement of a SIAC arbitral award on the grounds that the composition of the arbitral tribunal and/or the arbitral procedure was not in accordance with the arbitration agreement of the parties. In the same circumstances, however, the Singapore High Court, in a previously decided case, rejected challenges to both the application of the expedited procedure and the appointment of a sole arbitrator. This articles looks at both decisions.
An introduction of key amendments to the PRC Anti-Unfair Competition Law - China Working Group, April 2018

The amended Anti-Unfair Competition Law (AUCL) of the People's Republic of China was adopted at the 30th session of the Standing Committee of the 12th National People's Congress on 4 November 2017 and took effect on 1 January 2018. The old AUCL was never amended in the 24 years since it was implemented. This article looks at how the revised AUCL makes comprehensive and much needed amendments.
An anniversary review of China's Foreign NGO law - China Working Group, April 2018

More than a year has passed since the introduction of the law on the Management of Activities of Foreign Non-governmental Organisations within China. Based on our experience assisting various foreign NGOs during the past year, as well as observations, analysis and interpretation of our communications with foreign NGOs and the relevant authorities, this article provides an overview of the law.
News corner: taxation law - China Working Group, April 2018

A brief update on the changes to tax laws being implemented in China.
Draft guidelines for cross-border data transfer security in China – August 2017

A look at what the guidelines for cross-border data transfer security in China may mean in practice.
Foreign arbitral awards and contractual rights in India – August 2017

This article considers two recent judgments of the Delhi High Court concerning foreign arbitral awards and their impact on foreign investment.
Customs Code of the EAEU – August 2017

In April Belarus signed the Customs Code of the Eurasian Economic Union. This article highlights the seven most significant novelties of the planned new code.
Cross-border insolvency Model Law collides with maritime lien – August 2017

Singapore becomes the latest country to attempt to balance the complex relationship between the UNCITRAL Model Law and maritime lien.
Asia Pacific Regional Forum update - June 2017

A selection of reports from conferences supported by the Forum, plus features on key developments in Asia Pacific jurisdictions covering human trafficking, maritime boundaries, Malaysia’s matchmaking industry, and more.
China's new Cyber Security Law - China Working Group, June 2017
By Jiang Ke
Exploring the main provisions of China’s first specialised cyber security law, and its impact on internet-related businesses and foreign investors.
Cross-border data transfer assessment measures released for public comment - China Working Group, June 2017
A month-long public consultation exercise on security assessments of cross-border transfer of personal data has recently been concluded.
China’s VAT reform crosses its finish line - China Working Group, June 2017
By David Dingfa Liu
With long-awaited VAT reforms recently introduced, this article examines the evolution of China’s tax system and the benefits of the new system.
What if land term expires in China? - China Working Group, June 2017
By Nancy Zhang
Homeowners in China may be obliged to pay additional land premiums after the expiration of current land use, prompting widespread concerns.
News corner: corporate and commercial law updates - China Working Group, June 2017
New business licences; fines on drug manufacturers for joint-boycotting and price-fixing; new website for enterprise bankruptcy proceedings; Commission of Commerce approval change.
China Working Group Newsletter, September 2016

The latest edition of the Committee's newsletter is now available to download. This newsletter addresses a wide array of topics including articles on compliance risk in cross-border e-commerce imports under new 2016 policies, recent updates in China's food safety laws and an introduction to WeChat use in China.
Message from the Co-Chairs - Asia Pacific Regional Forum newsletter article, April 2016

Greetings from the officers of the IBA Asia Pacific Regional Forum (APF). We hope your year has begun well. It has been said that the Asia Pacific region has been performing above the global economy in the last 20 years. Two of the world’s five largest economies are currently from the Asia Pacific. By 2030 the Asia Pacific Region will have three economies in this top five.
Introduction to the China Working Group - Asia Pacific Regional Forum Committee Newsletter, February 2016

The China Working Group is a new addition to the IBA Asia Pacific Forum. The CWG was formed in order to advise the IBA on activities in China and to keep the IBA’s members aware of various events and initiatives in the region. Since China is one of the largest growing markets, it is imperative for the CWG to provide advice on issues specific to China including opportunities with governmental organisations and legal associations.
The call for Asian cultural diversity in the Australian legal profession - Asia Pacific Regional Forum Committee Newsletter, February 2016

In Australia and beyond, 2015 has been a time of great reflection regarding issues of cultural diversity and the AALA has been leading the charge within the Australian legal profession. The article highlights two key points to possibly overcome this barrier being representation and mentoring.
Arbitration and commercial court ordinances: recent developments on the Indian dispute resolution stage - Asia Pacific Regional Forum Committee Newsletter, February 2016

India enacted its Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996 based on the UNCITRAL Model Law. In the two decades since, arbitration in India has been plagued by various issues, including costs and procedural delays, making it no better than the earlier arbitration law or litigation through courts. The Law Commission of India took up this issue and provided its recommendations by way of its 246th report in 2014. Against this background, the Government promulgated an ordinance on 23 October 2015.
Indian ‘controlled’ clarified by the IRDAI – changing rules of the game? - Asia Pacific Regional Forum Committee Newsletter, February 2016

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) issued guidelines on 19 October 2015 to further clarify the ‘Indian Owned and Controlled’ requirement for Indian insurance companies. The (Indian) Insurance Act 1938 has been amended to raise the cap on foreign investment in Indian insurers from the then existing 26 per cent to 49 per cent, subject to them being ‘Indian owned and controlled, in such manner as may be prescribed’.
Purchase price adjustment in India: old ways and new - Asia Pacific Regional Forum Committee Newsletter, February 2016

The Indian legal system poses unique challenges for cross-border M&As involving Indian targets, as cross-border movement of capital is regulated. Such restrictions impact the enforceability of a post-closing adjustment provision included for a true-up of the consideration post-closing. Indian laws prescribe a floor and a cap price for inflow and outflow of capital, in addition to the payment timeline. As such, the otherwise well-accepted mechanisms of adjustment need greater evaluation and fine tuning....
The new era for internet law of Sri Lanka - Asia Pacific Regional Forum Committee Newsletter, February 2016

The internet plays a prominent role in the field of communication in the contemporary world. It contributes immensely towards the development of knowledge, skills and attitudes of its users, which results in the socio-economic development of society. The number of internet users is increasing in almost all the countries in the world and Sri Lanka is no exception...
Summary of findings: predicting the impact of class actions in Thailand and timeline of leading indicators - Asia Pacific Regional Forum Committee Newsletter, February 2016

This brief article summarises a portion of the qualitative findings of a larger research project related to predicting the impact of class action legislation in Thailand, both qualitatively and quantitatively. The full project report compares Thailand to four other jurisdictions, namely: Brazil, Indonesia, Taiwan and the US, addressing both legal and broader cultural aspects among the countries. This summary is a direct comparison between Thailand and the US.
With the Honourable Justice Maria Lourdes P A Sereno, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the Philippines - Asia Pacific Regional Forum Committee Newsletter, February 2016

By Caroline Berube.
Interview with the Honourable Justice Maria Lourdes P A Sereno, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines
Asia Pacific Regional Forum Committee Newsletter, September 2015

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Asia Pacific Regional Forum Committee Newsletter, January 2015

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Asia Pacific Regional Forum Committee Newsletter, August 2014

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Asia Pacific Regional Forum Committee Newsletter, April 2014

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Asia Pacific Regional Forum Committee Newsletter, September 2013

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Asia Pacific Regional Forum Committee Newsletter, March 2013

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Asia Pacific Regional Forum Committee Newsletter, September 2012

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Asia Pacific Regional Forum Committee Newsletter, April 2012

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Asia Pacific Regional Forum Committee Newsletter, August 2011

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Asia Pacific Regional Forum Committee Newsletter, February 2011

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Asia Pacific Regional Forum Committee Newsletter, May 2010

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