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Vietnam: New Decree promotes new opportunities for private investments in the airport infrastructure and...

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The Vietnamese government recently issued Decree No. 05/2021/ND-CP ("Decree No. 05")1 on the management and operation of airports and airfields in Vietnam, replacing Decree No. 102/2015/ND-CP ("Decree No. 102").2 The new decree comes into effect on 10 March 2021, and provides for, among other things, new regulations regarding the investment and operation of airport and airfield projects in Vietnam.In the context of the global shift from government ownership and operation to private participation in the airport and aviation infrastructure sector, and responding to increasing calls to promote private sector investments in airports in Vietnam, Decree No. 05 provides certain foundations to facilitate new opportunities for private investment in airports and airfields in Vietnam.However, there are certain legal issues that will need to be considered in relation to airport concessions, depending on whether the legal and contractual frameworks involve public-private partnership (PPP) or private investment structures on a project-by-project basis.

Japan: New Japanese invoicing requirements for consumption tax (JCT)

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The Japanese value added tax is referred to as JCT. As all taxes around the world have connections with the history of the tax mechanism of each country, the explanation below also covers the history of the discussions regarding introducing value added tax in Japan.

Malaysia: Sungai Udang Waste-to-Energy Project RFP

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The Malaysian Ministry of Housing and Local Government has announced that the request for proposal (RFP) for a waste-to-energy project in Sungai Udang, Malacca ("WtE Project") will be released on 18 February 2021. Consistent with the previous RFP for the waste-to-energy project located in Bukit Payong that was issued in August 2020, the WtE Project will be carried out on a public-private partnership basis. We understand the WtE Project is near to a current sanitary landfill and the driver is to reduce waste disposal rate at the landfill.The WtE Project is the second of the six proposed waste-to-energy projects that the federal government of Malaysia is planning to develop by 2021.

Hong Kong and Thailand: The Future of Asia – Hong Kong & Thailand Mutual...

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On 20 January 2021, the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission ("SFC") and the Office of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand ("Thai SEC") jointly announced1 ("Announcement") that they had entered into a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding ("MOU") for the Mutual Recognition of Funds between the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China and Thailand ("HK-TH MRF").2 The HK-TH MRF represents a significant additional step to foster closer ties and financial cooperation between Hong Kong and Thailand. It follows, amongst other existing arrangements, the long term co-operation between the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and Bank of Thailand to explore a Distributed Ledger Technology solution for cross border funds transfers known as project Inthanon - Lionrock3 and the Memorandum of Understanding on the Strengthening of Economic Relations signed on 29 November 2019 by the respective governments.4 In this Client Alert we provide an overview of some of the key aspects of the HK-TH MRF.

Indonesia: Omnibus Law – Draft regulations published setting new Anti-Monopoly Law sentencing standards

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On 4 February 2021, the Government published its long-awaited draft implementing regulations on the job creation law (the "Omnibus Law").  Previously, the competition authority could impose an administrative fine for competition law infringements of up to IDR 25 billion. The new maximum penalty will be either 50% of the profit gained by the violating party in the period in which it was in violation or 10% of its revenue. The new regulations also introduce other factors to be considered in determining penalties, as well as amendments to the appeals procedure.It is unclear when this draft, which was to be issued within three months after enactment of the Omnibus Law, i.e. 2 February, will be signed and in force.

Philippines: Covid-19 – CAB Rules on Virtual Hearings

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On 13 January 2021, the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) released the "Interim Guidelines on the Rules of Procedure Governing the Conduct of Virtual Hearings Before the Civil Aeronautics Board amending for its purpose the March 13, 2020 Interim Guidelines on the Rules of Procedure Governing Hearings Before the Civil Aeronautics Board during the Effectivity of Resolution No. 11 (Recommendations for the Management of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Situation)" ("CAB Rules on Virtual Hearings"); access here.All petitioners applying for permits and licenses (e.g., Renewal of Foreign Air Carrier's Permits) before the CAB must comply with the CAB Rules on Virtual Hearings while they are in force.

Australia: New AER enforcement powers and significantly increased penalties for National Energy Law breaches

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The Statutes Amendment (National Energy Laws) (Penalties and Enforcement) Act 2020 (Act) commenced on 29 January 2021, arming the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) for the first time with the power to compulsorily seek information and to undertake compulsory examinations in the course of investigations.  The Act also very significantly increases the maximum penalties for contraventions of the civil penalty provisions in the National Energy Law and associated legislation and rules, on terms that are analogous to the penalty regime in the Australian Consumer Law.This alert summarises the key changes and risks associated with the new regime that market participants should be aware of, and identifies steps that should now be taken to minimise those risks.

Singapore: First phase of implementation of the Personal Data Protection (Amendment) Act

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On 1 February 2021, certain sections of the Personal Data Protection (Amendment) Act 2020 came into effect as part of a phased implementation.We had previously summarised in our earlier client alerts the changes proposed during the public consultation ("Consultation Paper") on the Personal Data Protection (Amendment) Bill ("Bill"), as well as the salient differences between the Consultation Paper and the Bill that was introduced and read in the Singapore Parliament on 5 October 2020. The Bill has since been passed by Parliament on 2 November 2020 ("Act") and the accompanying guidelines issued in draft form by the Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) on 20 November 2020, which we have summarised in another client alert, has since been integrated into the other guidelines issued by the PDPC.In this client alert, we will further elaborate on some provisions of the Act that came into effect on 1 February 2021.

Peeling the Layers – Recorded Webinar: Practical Analysis and Application of Controllership and Beneficial...

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The laws on identifying effectively beneficial owners of companies have been in force in Hong Kong and Singapore for a few years now. Malaysia...

Australia: Consultation closing soon on Draft Online Safety Bill

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A reminder that submissions on the Government's draft Online Safety Bill (Bill) close on 14 February.On 23 December 2020, the Australian Government's Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications began a consultation on the draft Bill. The Bill is designed to consolidate and supplement the range of existing regimes covering online content, most notably the Enhancing Online Safety Act 2015 (Cth) (EOSA) and Schedules 5 and 7 of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (Cth) (BSA).The Bill introduces an expanded take-down scheme for cyber-bullying and image-based abuse, a new take-down scheme for adult cyber-abuse, a set of basic online safety expectations (BOSE) for online services, a revised online content scheme and a blocking scheme for abhorrent violent material. It also reduces the time for responding to removal notices from 48 hours to 24 hours and incorporates civil penalties for non-compliance in certain circumstances.If implemented, these proposed changes would increase the imperative for online services to take a pro-active approach and to have in place efficient mechanisms for responding to removal notices.
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