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The World at Your Doorstep: IPBA Australian-New Zealand Regional Forum

On 19 July 2018, the IPBA held an Inaugural Regional Event in Sydney, Australia entitled “The World at Your Doorstep“.  The Event was hosted at the College of Law’s Sydney offices, following the signing in November 2017 by the College and the IPBA of an MOU to develop new courses for their respective students and members. 

The Event focussed on the Australasian legal and tax issues facing foreign investors from the Asia-Pacific who wish to invest and operate in Australia and New Zealand.

The Event Co-Chairs, Michael Butler (Finlaysons) (IPBA Jurisdictional Council Member, Australia) and Roger Saxton (Connor & Co.) (IPBA Senior Advisor, Australia) introduced a highly-qualified panel of speakers, who spoke knowledgeably to an enthusiastic and interactive audience of approximately 30 attendees.

Ben Smith (Minter Ellison) shared his recent experiences with the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) and discussed the regulatory issues for North Asian investors in Australia; Jim FitzSimons (Bird & Bird) provided an engaging overview of cryptocurrencies and a number of issues that need to be considered with Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs); Jessica Pengelly (Finlaysons) succinctly summarized a number of recent tax developments for foreign investors in Australian real property; and Jai Nario (Chapman Tripp) explained comprehensively the issues facing Australians who decide to invest “across the ditch” in New Zealand.

Jose Cochingyan III (IPBA Program Co-ordinator) very generously travelled from the Philippines to Australia to support the Event and to promote the IPBA Annual Conference in Singapore in April 2019.

The Event was followed by networking drinks, which continued the IPBA tradition of conviviality and fellowship in law, and will hopefully be the first of a number of similar events in Australia and New Zealand in the next few years.