LATEST ASIAN NEWS

China

  • Apostille Convention Implementation in China (November 7, 2023): China has formally adopted the Apostille Convention, effective November 7, 2023, streamlining document authentication processes. This significant move eliminates the need for multiple rounds of authentication by various authorities for foreign documents used in China, leading to substantial time and cost savings for businesses and individuals.

  • China's Visa-Free Entry Initiative (December 2023-November 2024): China has introduced a Visa-Free entry policy for six nations, including France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Malaysia, during the period from December 2023 to November 2024. This initiative facilitates easier cross-border travel, allowing passport holders from these countries to enter China without a visa for up to 15 days. The policy aims to boost international exchanges, promote business activities, and enhance diplomatic relations during this specified timeframe.

Vietnam

  • Revised Law on Investment: Effective January 1, 2023, the revised Law on Investment introduces significant changes to Vietnam's investment regime. These changes aim to streamline investment procedures, enhance transparency, and promote foreign investment. Key changes include:

    • Simplified investment registration process
    • Reduced investment licensing requirements
    • Enhanced investment incentives
    • Strengthened investment protection provisions
  • New regulations on cross-border data transfers: The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) issued Decree 53/2023/ND-CP in May 2023, regulating the transfer of personal data out of Vietnam. The decree requires companies to obtain prior approval from the MIC before transferring personal data overseas, with exceptions for certain types of data transfers.

Singapore

  • Enhancing data protection regulations: The Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) was amended in January 2023 to strengthen data protection safeguards. The amendments introduce stricter requirements for organizations that collect, use, and disclose personal data.

  • New tax rules for foreign investments: The Income Tax Act was amended in April 2023 to introduce new tax rules for foreign investments in Singapore. The amendments aim to align Singapore's tax regime with international standards and attract foreign investment.

Thailand

  • Revised Labor Protection Act: The Labor Protection Act was amended in May 2023 to enhance employee protections and promote better working conditions. The amendments introduce new provisions on overtime pay, rest periods, and maternity leave.

  • New regulations on e-commerce: The Ministry of Commerce issued Notification No. 32/2023 in June 2023, regulating e-commerce activities in Thailand. The notification aims to protect consumers and ensure fair competition in the e-commerce market.

Hong Kong

  • Enhancing intellectual property (IP) protection: The Intellectual Property Department (IPD) has been actively enforcing IP rights in Hong Kong. The IPD has strengthened its enforcement procedures and increased collaboration with law enforcement agencies to combat IP infringement.

  • New regulations on virtual assets: The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) issued the Guidelines on Virtual Asset Service Providers in November 2023. The guidelines provide a regulatory framework for virtual asset service providers operating in Hong Kong.

Japan

  • Revised Commercial Code: The Commercial Code was amended in June 2023 to modernize and streamline corporate governance practices. The amendments aim to enhance corporate transparency, accountability, and shareholder rights.

  • New tax measures for digital businesses: The government introduced new tax measures for digital businesses in April 2023. These measures aim to ensure that digital businesses pay their fair share of taxes in Japan.

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