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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.

United Kingdom: Updated OECD guidance on tax treaties and COVID-19

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On 21 January 2021, the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) published updated guidance on tax treaties and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, originally issued by the Secretariat in April 2020. The OECD's guidance reflects the Secretariat's views on the interpretations of the tax treaties and the general approach being taken by member jurisdictions, and illustrates how certain jurisdictions have addressed the impact of the pandemic on the tax situations of individuals and employers. The OECD states that the updated guidance is intended to provide greater certainty to taxpayers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

United Kingdom: Black Lives Matter – What 2021 and beyond looks like for employers

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In brief The Black Lives Matter movement, accelerated by the murder of George Floyd, sparked a global awakening to racial disparities in society. Impassioned protests...

Austria: The COVID-19 vaccination as an opportunity

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Mandatory vaccination is not to be expected. Nevertheless, employers and employees can greatly benefit from COVID-19 vaccinations. This is true from a health, economic and legal perspective. Companies which recognize these benefits (early on) will have a significant competitive advantage.

United Kingdom: COVID-19 – Equality law in the provision of goods and services

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The COVID-19 crisis has brought into focus the obligations of service providers towards customers with disabilities. In particular, there were reports of some retailers failing to recognise legitimate exceptions to rules regarding wearing face coverings and/or handling enquiries about exemptions with a lack of sensitivity. The issue of "hidden disabilities" became particularly significant in that context. Heavy reliance on online service channels highlighted the importance of ensuring that those services were fully accessible to customers with a range of disabilities, particularly as those channels were tested by a sudden uptick in demand. Older customers and customers with disabilities who relied on online shopping and in-store assistance found that they could not access the same level of support. Reconfiguration of store access to facilitate social distancing required retailers to re-assess whether those arrangements created difficulties for those with mobility and other impairments. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) issued some helpful guidance to retailers in response to some of the issues that had arisen.

Ukraine: Focus on collaboration between banks and technology companies

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In brief On 16 January 2021, the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) introduced a specific oversight regime with respect to compliance of Ukrainian banks with data protection and cybersecurity requirements. Banks will now be subject to either remote or "on-site" inspections in these areas. In addition, banks will be required to submit their respective annual self-assessment reports. The template report form, approved by the NBU, indicates that banks will have to disclose all of their "cloud" and "outsourcing" projects with third-party vendors.Key takeaways The Ukrainian market is seeing an increased amount of emerging partnerships between banks and technology companies. Such collaboration arrangements have now attracted the regulator's attention. Accordingly, banks and their technology vendors should dedicate more care to the regulatory aspects of their cooperation (and related technology transactions), to ensure a smooth oversight experience.Background The new oversight regime aims to implement the evolving regulatory framework for data protection and cybersecurity in the banking industry. According to its Fintech Strategy 2025, the NBU will also adopt bespoke rules for banks governing IT outsourcing and cloud projects by the end of 2022 and 2024, respectively.

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.

United States and United Kingdom: What will Biden’s presidency mean for ESG?

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Biden has indicated prioritizing climate change - and he moved fast by signing an executive order to have the US re-enter the Paris climate accord on the day of his inauguration. He has stated that such prioritisation is also about creating new jobs and spurring economic growth. He has plans to push through major infrastructure projects, boost the auto industry in its quest to build low-emissions vehicles, help move the power sector toward renewables, and encourage innovation in energy technologies. The expectation is that there will be climate change regulatory initiatives and expanded ESG reporting and disclosure efforts that may affect the direction and pace of the US energy transition. In this session, our panel shared their insights on what this might mean for business both in the US and more globally as Biden seeks to have the United States re-engage on the world stage. We were joined by Global Torch Light.

United States: This Week in Government Enforcement

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Please join us for a new weekly video series, hosted by Baker McKenzie's North America Government Enforcement partners Tom Firestone and Jerome Tomas.This weekly briefing is available on demand and will cover hot topics and current enforcement actions related to white collar crime and criminal investigations in the US and abroad to arm you with the information you need to start your business week.As one of the largest global law firms, we will call upon our exceptionally deep and broad bench of white collar experts throughout the world and particularly in the commercial hubs of Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America to join our weekly discussion series.

International: LIBOR’s Long Goodbye – An update and next steps

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The COVID-19 crisis has brought into focus the obligations of service providers towards customers with disabilities. In particular, there were reports of some retailers failing to recognise legitimate exceptions to rules regarding wearing face coverings and/or handling enquiries about exemptions with a lack of sensitivity. The issue of "hidden disabilities" became particularly significant in that context. Heavy reliance on online service channels highlighted the importance of ensuring that those services were fully accessible to customers with a range of disabilities, particularly as those channels were tested by a sudden uptick in demand. Older customers and customers with disabilities who relied on online shopping and in-store assistance found that they could not access the same level of support. Reconfiguration of store access to facilitate social distancing required retailers to re-assess whether those arrangements created difficulties for those with mobility and other impairments. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) issued some helpful guidance to retailers in response to some of the issues that had arisen.
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