Tips of the commerce | Asia Enterprise Law Journal

Our first investment guide is aimed at the in-house advisor of Japan

T.The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) estimates of world trade and foreign direct investment (FDI) are an instructive story. The data for 2020 shows an 8% decline in trade growth, while the second quarter of 2020 shows a decline of more than 20% year over year. The UN agency reports that global FDI in 2020 fell 42% year over year to an estimated $ 859 billion, compared to $ 1.5 trillion last year.

While the sharp decline in these numbers is almost entirely due to the pandemic, UNCTAD expects the “impact” to continue into 2021, but hopes the numbers will return to 2019 levels. However, the silver lining in all of these dismal statistics has been the resilience of East Asian countries to both foreign investment and trade. As the UN agency notes: “While no developing country or region has been spared the decline in international trade in 2020, trade trends are generally better for the East Asian region. This trend is even more evident in the third quarter of 2020, as East Asian exports were positive year-on-year. “

Even with global FDI, it was Japan, the world’s largest outbound investor for three years, that helped prop up the numbers. According to the Bank of Japan, Japan remained the largest international investor with around $ 100 billion in FDI in the first three quarters of the year, despite a massive drop from $ 227 billion in 2019.

The slowdown in trade and investment and the roughly 5% decline in global GDP have also opened up opportunities for discerning investors. It’s a buyer’s market in many ways as valuation expectations have fallen and there is significant demand for quality investors from both businesses and governments.

In this context, we would like to introduce you to our first investment guide – the Japan Outbound Investment Guide. This collaborative addition in collaboration with the Japan In-House Lawyers Association (JILA) provides insights from regional legal experts in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and North America. Our guide features 19 articles written by some of the best law firms in 16 countries covering the most pressing issues in their respective markets. This practical accounting for Japanese internal legal advisers shows the possibilities and pitfalls of investing abroad.

A representative list of countries covered includes developed western markets such as the US and Germany; emerging Asian countries such as India, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines; Middle Eastern centers such as the UAE and Israel; and attractive African travel destinations such as Nigeria, Angola and Senegal, among others.

In our Asia-specific function “Devil in the Data” we examine the development of data protection regulations in the Asia-Pacific region. There is a lot of legislative activity in the region and many jurisdictions are trying to keep up with technological advances and developments in other countries. We evaluate existing laws, work in progress and proposed changes.

The past two years have seen hectic activity in this area: China’s Personal Data Protection Bill, Indonesia’s Personal Data Protection (PDP) Law, India’s Data Protection Law, Vietnam’s Draft Personal Data Protection Decree, and Thailand’s First Personal Data Protection Act Data Protection Act (PDPA), which comes into force on May 31st. Meanwhile, Japan has changed its Personal Data Protection Act (APPI), and South Korea has changed its top three data protection laws for personal data, networks, and credit information. Singapore and Hong Kong are also updating their data laws with ongoing proposed amendments.

In our intelligence report, we discuss the impact of reforms in China’s intellectual property laws. China’s top-down reforms to copyright and patent law include major changes to its judiciary and legislation to solve problems that have plagued businesses for decades. But do the changes go far enough?

This edition also includes the Asia Business Law Directory of Thai Law Firms.

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