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Dec 2019 - ESAPA Client eNewsletter

Dec 2019 - ESAPA Client eNewsletter
  • Hong Kong
  • Asia
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Contributed by Thomson Geer

By Mark Brandon-Baker, Managing Director, TG Endeavour Public Affairs; Loretta Reynolds, Partner – Markets

Open for business and welcoming of foreign investment

The recent re-election of the Morrison Government in Australia will ensure Australia remains open for business and welcoming of foreign investment. The current low growth environment which left the Reserve Bank to reduce official interest rates to record lows will be weighing heavily on the Government as it seeks to maintain its projected budget surplus in 2019-2020 and beyond. The downward pressure on the Australian dollar (now at 10 year lows) will presumably also stimulate international interest in acquisition of Australian assets.

Read full article here.


Contributed by DFDL

By Marion Carles Salmon, Regional Legal Adviser

Bangladesh employment legal update

An action plan known as the ‘National Tripartite Plan of Action on Fire Safety and Structural Integrity in the garment Sector of Bangladesh’ (“NTPA”) was issued by the Government of Bangladesh represented by the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Rajdhani Unnayan Kartipakhya, Bangladesh Fire service and Civil Defense, the representatives of employers and the representatives of workers in relation to occupational safety in the Bangladeshi garment sector.

Read full article here.


Contributed by DFDL

By Guillaume Massin, Partner & Cambodia Managing Director; Charles Amar, Head of Cambodia Real Estate Practice

The Construction Law has been promulgated by Royal Krorm

Following approval by the Council of Ministers on 30 August 2019, the National Assembly of Cambodia on 8 October 2019 and the Senate on 18 October 2019, the Law on Construction has now been promulgated by the Royal Krorm No. NS/RKM/1119/019 dated 2 November 2019.

Read full article here.

Hong Kong

Contributed by Eversheds Sutherland

By Uday Kumar, Registered Foreign Lawyer (England & Wales)

Hong Kong’s electronic business related arbitration and mediation platform

In the 2018 Policy Address, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong indicated support for funding the development of an online arbitration and mediation platform so that Hong Kong can provide efficient and cost-effective online dispute resolution (“ODR”) services.

Read full article here.


Contributed by King Stubb & Kasiva

By Sindhuja Kashyap, Associate - Corporate

Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions (Amendment) Bill, 2019: A knight in the shining armour for the distressed employers

The Ministry of Labour and Employment has, with view to the changing industrial and economic scenario of the nation, proposed to amend the Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 vide the Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (“Bill”) on 23 August 2019. The Bill is open for suggestions and objections from the concerned stakeholders and other members of the public till 22 September 2019.

Read full article here.

Contributed by Khaitan & Co

Liberalisation of FDI rules - press note 4

On 28 August 2019, the Government announced critical changes liberalising foreign direct investment (FDI) norms in: (a) single-brand retail trading (SBRT) (b) contract manufacturing (c) uploading / streaming of news and current affairs through digital media and (d) coal mining.

Read full article here.

SEBI amends regulations to implement framework for listing of companies with superior voting rights shares

This is further to our Ergo Update dated 5 July 2019 regarding Securities and Exchange Board of India's (SEBI) in-principal approval to the framework of enabling initial public offer of ordinary equity shares by tech companies having equity shares with supeiror voting rights (SR Shares).

Read full article here.


Contributed by SSEK

By Michael S. Carl, Foreign Legal Advisor

New merger control rules in Indonesia: mandatory notification of asset acquisitions

On 2 October 2019, Indonesia’s Business Competition Supervisory Commission (Komisi Pengawas Persaingan Usaha or “KPPU”) issued Regulation No. 3 Year 2019 regarding Assessments of Mergers or Consolidations of Business Entities or Acquisitions of Company Shares which May Result in Monopolistic and/or Unfair Business Competition Practices (“Reg. No. 3”).

Read full article here.


Contributed by The Tokyo-Marunouchi Law Offices

By Kengo Ishikawa, Partner

Japanese civil code reform effective from April 2020

The Civil Code of Japan (Law No. 89 of 1896) was originally enacted in 1896 and has not been substantially amended for approximately 120 years. During this period, the economy and social circumstances of Japan have experienced dramatic changes, such as the advent of complicated and sophisticated business transactions, the emergence of a highly aged population, and the development of information technology.

Read full article here.


Contributed by DFDL

By Kristy Newby, Managing Director

Lao PDR legal update: regulating electronic signatures

In December 2018 the National Assembly of the Lao PDR passed the Law on Electronic Signatures (№ 59/NA, 12 December 2018) (“E-Signature Law”). The E-Signature Law was published in the Official Gazette on 2 May 2019, bringing the E-Signature Law into effect from 17 May 2019.

Read full article here.


Contributed by Law Partnership

Malaysia’s new trademarks bill 2019: 10 key changes you need to know

On 2 July 2019, the Trademarks Bill 2019 was passed by the Dewan Rakyat (House of Representatives) and by the Dewan Negara (Senate) on 23 July 2019. The Trademarks Act 2019 (“new Act”) comes into operation on a date to be appointed by the Minister by notification in the Gazette and the Minister may appoint different dates for the coming into operation of different parts or different provisions of this Act.

Read full article here.


Contributed by DFDL

By William Greenlee, Partner & Managing Director; Nishant Choudhary, Deputy Managing Director, Head of Banking & Finance Practice; Rohan Bishayee, Legal Adviser

New round of foreign bank licensing in Myanmar

With the Central Bank of Myanmar (“CBM”) conducting two rounds of foreign bank licensing in 2014 and 2016, Myanmar’s banking sector liberalization and modernization has been slowly progressing in sporadic phases.

Read full article here.


Contributed by Surridge & Beecheno

By Khalid A Rehman, Senior Partner

Recent developments

Recently, when adjudicating over a writ petition, the Islamabad High Court ruled that the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (“PTA”) must draft and submit rules which govern the PTA’s exercise of seemingly discretionary power to block websites, as granted under Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016 (“PECA”).

Read full article here.


Contributed by Eversheds Harry Elias

By Justin Chia, Partner, Head of Restructuring & Insolvency; Chua Jian Zhi, Senior Associate; Charles Ho, Senior Associate

Recognition of foreign bankruptcy orders by the Singapore High Court

Pursuant to the Companies (Amendment) Act 2017, the UNCITRAL Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency (“Model Law”) was implemented in Singapore to facilitate cross-border corporate insolvency matters including recognition of foreign proceedings if certain stipulated conditions are met.

Read full article here.

By Hee Theng Fong, Consultant; Tan Chau Yee, Partner, Head of Construction and Engineering; Sharmini Selvaratnam, Partner; Andrea Koh, Senior Associate

Singapore Court of Appeal affirms power to grant mareva injunctions in aid of foreign court proceedings

The Singapore Court of Appeal (“SGCA”) in Bi Xiaoqiong (in her capacity and as trustee of the Xiao Qiong Bi Trust and the Alisa Wu Irrevocable Trust) v China Medical Technologies, Inc. (in Liquidation) and CMED Technologies Ltd [2019] SGCA 50 has clarified that the Singapore court has the power to grant a Mareva injunction in aid of foreign court proceedings where a local action is commenced, even if it is stayed pending the determination of the foreign court proceedings.

Read full article here.


Contributed by Formosa Transnational

A new electronic payment system may be established as early as 2020

Amendments to the Act Governing Electronic Payment Institutions (Act), proposed by Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC), are currently pending the notice period, which will expire on 29 September 2019.

FSC proposes amendment of the Securities Investor and Futures Trader Protection Act

Taiwan's Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) announced its proposed amendment of the Securities Investor and Futures Trader Protection Act (Act) on 3 July, which will substantially change the Act.

Virtual currency is a medium of exchange and shall be taxed

Taiwan’s Regulation for Security Token Offering (STO) has become effective this October 2019, and the taxation of cryptocurrency has once again become the subject of discussion.

Read full article here.


Contributed by DFDL

By Marion Carles Salmon, Regional Legal Adviser

Thailand employment legal update

The Thai Personal Data Protection Act (“PDPA”) is the first consolidated law in Thailand concerning personal data protection. It was published in the Royal Gazette on 27 May 2019, and will become effective one year after its publication, i.e. 27 May 2020, allowing businesses to familiarize themselves with the new PDPA requirements and ensure appropriate data protection measures are put in place before the deadline.

Read full article here.


Contributed by DFDL

By Jerome Buzenet, Partner & Vietnam Managing Director; David Fruitman, Regional Competition Counsel & Senior Consultant

Vietnam legal update: new penalties decree – 22 October 2019

Vietnam has issued the Decree Regulating Penalties for Administrative Breaches in the Competition Sector (Decree No. 75/2019/ND-CP) (“Decree 75”) dated 26 September 2019. Decree 75 sets out the forms of administrative breaches regarding competition, levels and forms of penalties and related procedures, measures and authority for imposing administrative penalties under the Competition Law (Law No. 23/2018/QH14 dated 12 June 2018) which came into effect 1 July 2019 (“Competition Law”) and essentially replaces Decree 71/2014/ND-CP dated 21 July 2014 which provided similar functions under the previous Competition Law. Decree 75 takes effect 1 December 2019.

Read full article here.

Contributed by Vision & Associates

By Luu Tien Ngoc, Partner, Business Development; Le Tuan Anh, Partner, Legal Practice

Guidelines for application of the provisions of the Criminal Code to

crimes of social insurance fraud and evasion

On 15 August 2019, the Judges’ Council of the Supreme People's Court (SPC) issued Resolution No. 05/2019/NQ-HDTP, providing guidelines for application of Article 214 on social insurance and unemployment insurance frauds, Article 215 on health insurance fraud, and Article 216 on evading payments of social, health and unemployment insurances for employees of the Criminal Code ("Resolution 05").

Read full article here.