Gearing Up for the ASEAN Economic Community: Investment Frameworks in Myanmar, Indonesia, and Thailand

Vol. 43 No. 3

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Marlon Wui is a partner (foreign lawyer) at Kelvin Chia Partnership (KCP), a regional commercial law firm headquartered in Singapore with offices throughout Southeast Asia. Mr. Wui helps oversee KCP’s Myanmar, Indonesia, Thailand, and Philippine practice groups. Joel Loo is a senior regional counsel based in KCP’s Bangkok office, where he spearheads its corporate and IP practices. Himawan G. Hatman is part of Martia & Anggraini Partnership (in collaboration with Kelvin Chia Partnership), which is KCP’s Jakarta office and exclusive collaborating firm in Indonesia. He is well-versed in Indonesian foreign investment laws, having practiced in Jakarta for many years. John Lichtefeld and Pedro Jose F. Bernardo of KCP’s Yangon office contributed to the section of this article on Myanmar.

In 2015, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is slated to inaugurate its single-bloc, regional market organization, the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC—also called “One ASEAN”). Modeled after the EU but minus the currency and monetary union, the AEC’s launch is fast approaching, and that has meant a boom in foreign investment in the region, with abundant rewards on display for many years that are now ripe for harvesting. Member countries that were traditionally market-shy have lowered their entry gates in anticipation of this new era, with “less attractive” members grooming themselves for competitiveness. All are hopeful of being regarded as AEC hubs.

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