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Guide to the Real Estate Industry in Asia

A keen understanding of the nature of real estate and the legal and regulatory issues related to this asset class is critical to working out any real estate deal. In this third edition of Rajah & Tann Asia's "Guide to the Real Estate Industry in Asia", we share with you a brief overview of certain key insights to the real estate industry in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Topics covered include the legal framework, types of real estate, ownership and tenure, taxes and other important aspects for investors of real estate to note.

A key pillar of our strength is our Rajah & Tann Asia network with offices in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, as well as dedicated desks focusing on Japan and South Asia. With the most extensive legal network in Asia, our lawyers have a tight grasp of the local culture, business practices, and language not just within their own home countries, but in the other markets in which they frequently conduct cross-border deals as well. Our depth of transactional and regulatory experience allows us to advise clients strategically and creatively, from structuring to eventual execution and implementation of the transaction. It is important to seek specific legal advice in any corporate real estate matters, and our team would be pleased to discuss your specific objectives and requirements.

Regional Competition Bites Q2 2023

The Regional Competition Bites Q2 2023 - we here share various legislative and regulatory developments across Southeast Asia. Numerous developments have occurred on the merger front in a number of countries, as well as on the behavioural and investigation side.

On merger control, Cambodia has issued various new regulations which sets out applicable penalties for violating the Law on Competition and also introduces a post-merger notification regime. This follows Cambodia’s recent establishment of its merger control framework, which will come into effect in Cambodia in September 2023.The Philippines has also issued non-horizontal merger review guidelines, with draft guidelines in progress for the motu proprio review of mergers in digital markets. Thailand has issued fines against real estate developers for the late filing of merger notifications.

Mergers aside, the Indonesia Competition Commission has introduced a series of new guidelines on bid-rigging, relevant market definition, and assessment of negative impact, and a Checklist of Competition policies for the government to ensure that its policies align with fair business competition principles. Vietnam is also reviewing its draft Consumer Protection Law and has approved a plan that aims to strengthen anti-counterfeiting measures and protect consumers in online transactions.

In Singapore, sustainability remains a focus, and the regulator has just launched a public consultation on proposed guidance for evaluating environmental sustainability collaborations among competitors soon.

Breach of Preconditions to an Arbitration Agreement: A Matter of Jurisdiction or Admissibility?

Multi-tier dispute resolution clauses have increased in prominence, providing for a practical approach to dispute resolution. These clauses typically call for parties to first engage in various forms of negotiation and/or mediation as a precondition to proceeding with arbitration or litigation. 

Where a party breaches such a precondition by skipping a tier and proceeds straight to, for instance, arbitration, this may give rise to either an admissibility or jurisdiction issue. This goes beyond a mere technical or academic point – it has implications for whether an arbitral award may be set aside, given that jurisdiction is one of the limited grounds on which a party can appeal against or set aside an arbitral award in most national courts. In contrast, admissibility issues are generally determined by the tribunal and are not subject to curial review. 

This article discusses the position in Vietnam, Singapore and, briefly, in other commonwealth countries as to the effect of non-compliance with a multi-tier dispute resolution clause, and whether it is considered a matter of admissibility or jurisdiction.