After attacking the cyber threats, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) members move on to tackle another hurdle that bars the region from further development: the differences, ambiguities and lack of update in laws and regulations. Starting from January 2017, an online legal website will be launched to provide free access for visitors seeking legal information about Association – the seventh-largest economy in the world.
I believe, this is a significant boost to the investment in the region, even bigger than the cyber threats protection. Anyone doing business in ASEAN countries will easily realise the differences in each country’s regulations, from the uniquely improving system in Vietnam to the partly Western-style laws in the Philippines. At AS White Global, I often spend a great deal of time helping our Australian partners understand the actual meaning and application of these regulations. Therefore, the newly launched website will be a valuable legal information hub, opening up the gates to ASEAN for foreign investors.
According to the announcement, the legal site will be managed by the Malaysia-based ASEAN Legal Information Centre (ASEAN LIC) and available in all 10 member countries. With the collaboration of prestigious law schools and leading legal agencies, the website is supposed to constantly update general and tax-related regulations of all member countries, which benefits the public, the foreign investors as well as the region itself. In the long run, it also aims at publishing news, empowering cross-border commerce and supporting legal practitioners.