IPBA Committee News
This month we have updates from a few committees that cover an introduction to a committee, initial planning for Auckland, and legal developments.
Cross-Border Investment Committee - Michael Burian
The Cross-Border Investment Committee has started preparing for next year's conference, which will take place in Auckland from 6 to 9 April 2017. We have prepared a list of exciting topics which we will propose to the active members of the Cross-Border Investment committee shortly. If you are interested in getting involved in the preparation of the conference or even speaking at next year's conference, do let us know by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Insurance Committee - Tunku Farik
The Insurance Committee would like to thank Tan Chuan Thye, the outgoing Chair, fo all the hard work put into this committee. We would also like to thank Denis Brock and Ben Nicholson, the outgoing Vice-Chairs, for their support during their tenure. The current and incoming Vice-Chairs are Kieran Humphrey, Tomoki Debari, and Pimvimol (June) Vipamaneerut, and we welcome their meaningful input into this committee, especially for the upcoming conference in Auckland in 2017.
The Insurance Committee offers a forum to insurance practitioners to imprat their experience in respect of insurance disputes and industry challenges. Essentially, the modern world can not survive without insurance which encompasses all areas of life and commerce.
At the IPBA 2016 conference in Kuala Lumpur, the Insurance Committee was successful in getting Dato' Sri Hassan Kamil, the CEO of Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Bhd, and Anita Menon, the CFO of PruBSN Takaful Bhd to speak on the role of Takaful Operators as insurers of the 21st Century. We also managed to get the ombudsman and CEO of the Financial Mediation Bureau of Malaysia, Jeremy Lee, to talk on mediating insurance claims. It is not often that we could get luminaries from industry to speak at an IPBA conference on their experience and insight.
For Auckland, the committee is looking at getting speakers to talk on Piracy, Kidnap and Ransom, and Political Risks insurance in light of the recent Abu Sayyaf kidnappings in the South China Sea. The other interesting area we are looking at is Earthquake and Catastrophe insurance, and the legal issues that can arise from such claims.
International Trade Committee - Corey Norton
The International Trade Committee has launched a listserv for committee members. It is meant to supplement the discussion forum on the IPBA website and to help committee members connect with each other. It is already proving to be a valuable tool for discussing Auckland panel ideas. The listserv address is firstname.lastname@example.org. IPBA members who would like to have their e-mail added to the listserv should contact Corey Norton at email@example.com.
Our committee is also developing panel topics for Auckland. To date, there has been interest in developing panels in the following areas: anticorruption and supply chains, free trade challenges for coveted agriculture products, global trade in services and the Environmental Goods Agreement, among others. We have or will be contacting colleagues in other committees that might be interest in co-sponsoring. Anyone interested in participating on a panel covering these topics or any other international trade topic is encouraged to contact Corey Norton at the e-mail address above.
Legal Development and Training Committee - James Jung
Introduction of the Legal Development and Training Committee (LDTC)
The purpose of the LDTC is to coordinate and initiate IPBA's efforts to provide training to lawyers in the Asia-Pacific region and to support the development of legal institutions in that region.
The LDTC has held various education programs and seminars during each IPBA annual conference. Its legal education and training programs have sought to be practical, providing information and skills that lawyers can use in their legal practice; to focus on business and commercial subjects; and to emphasize cross-border or cross-cultural themes, in order to avoid duplication with the domestic law programs conducted by national law societies and bar associations.
Recent or upcoming activities involving LDTC
We are currently working towards holding regional education programs and seminars throughout the year, especially in cities across Southeast Asia. This will also provide an opportunity for those practitioners who are unable to attend annual IPBA conferences to engage closer with the IPBA.
Technology, Media and Telecommunications
From Lim Cong Kin:
In January 2016, it was announced that Singapore's info-communications and media regulators, the Info-communications Development Authority of Singapore and Media Development Authority of Singapore respectively, would merge in the second half of 2016 to form the Info-communications Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA). The formation of IMDA is expected to be the first step towards regulatory convergence. Substantive changes to the info-communications and media regulatory frameworks can be expected to follow in due course. At the time of writing, substantive details of the relevant legislative changes have yet to be announced.
In April 2016, the Singapore government announced that it intends to introduce a new Cybersecurity Bill, to be tabled in Parliament in 2017, as part of its review into the policy and legislative framework for cybersecurity. If enacted by Parliament, the new Cybersecurity Act is expected to confer additional powers on the Cyber Security Agency to manage cyber incidents and raise the standards of cybersecurity providers. At the time of writing, substantive details of the new bill have yet to be announced.
From Monika Singh:
In continuance of a series of initiatives to improve spectrum efficiency (through optimal use thereof) and quality of telecom services in India, the Government announced on April 21st, 2016 that Administratively allotted spectrum [spectrum in 800 MHz and 1800 MHz bands which were allotted prior to November 2012 without auction and could only be used to provide service(s) as allowed in the license for the same and hence, said to be in the un-liberalized form vis-à-vis the liberalized spectrum allotted through an auction process which could be used for deploying any service in any technology] in a service area where auction-determined price is not available for the band could now be liberalized by paying a provisional price as per the most recent Reserve Price for the band as recommended by the Telecom Regulator, which shall be later adjusted against any subsequent auction-determined price on a pro-rata basis.