A doorway opens

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New era beckons after 2023 legal storm

The world saw dramatic shifts in 2023, many of which shocked the legal arena. It was a whirlwind of geopolitical, technological and environmental change.

This is the essence of our Cover story, where we dissect the reconfiguration of the global stage influenced by various factors: the economic duel between the US and China; an escalating war between Russia and the Ukraine; and a rebound from the restrictions of the covid-19 pandemic. Digital technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) also took leaps forward, sparking discussions on ethics, IP rights and data privacy.

Volume 8 Issue 3
Asia Business Law Journal

Climate change moved to the forefront of discussions, particularly in Asia. Lawmaking never stopped. The OECD launched its blueprint for a global minimum tax on evasive multinationals, India rolled out a new data law, and Indonesia launched innovative financial instruments, to mention a few.

In essence, 2023 amplified global challenges but also showed there is room for leadership and adaptation in lawmaking. It’s a pivotal moment, the doorway has opened on an entirely new legal era.

As 2024 fast approaches, our Intelligence report shifts attention to the emerging opportunities in the land of the rising sun – Japan. After demonstrating substantial growth in 2023, Japan’s market continues to hold a radiant outlook for investors in the upcoming year. According to industry experts, despite potential slowdowns, marked interest remains in M&A, private equity and real estate.

In this report, we highlight Japan’s rise as a key investment epicentre, owing to its distinctive mix of characteristics separating it from other global economies. Japan’s political structure ensures stability, complemented by a technologically advanced environment and a reliable workforce.

Growth in investment areas such as technology, energy and sustainability will involve increasingly complex transactions and require sophisticated legal expertise, boosting demand for legal services.

With this issue’s In focus, we discuss the dynamic changes in private equity (PE) in China, focusing on its ongoing transformation from US dollar funds’ dominance to the rise of state-backed investors and government-guided funds. Addressing macro challenges like strict regulations and declining fundraising, we explore China’s commitment to supervising the PE sector while drawing special attention to the significant drop in PE activities in 2023.

We also look at the growing influence of renminbi funds and the impact of the Regulations on the Supervision and Administration of Private Investment Funds implemented in July 2023. The story extensively analyses the evolving challenges and regulatory changes shaping China’s PE industry.

Our regular Head to Head series of articles zero in on health tech in North Asia and the trendsetting developments impacting the stronghold capital markets of Hong Kong and mainland China.

An Expert briefing comes from the Cayman Islands and explores a ground-breaking decision by the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands to assert its authority in issuing interim injunctions for foreign arbitrations, with an intriguing spotlight on a milestone Chinese arbitration case under the 2012 Arbitration Act. Another in our Expert briefing series looks at how Singapore is ringing in tax changes to keep it competitive, pay for an energy transition, and align with new international standards.

This issue proudly showcases two award series from our annual assessments: the Philippine Law Firm Awards 2023, and the Korea Law Firm Awards 2023, celebrating these two countries’ most exceptional legal talent.

Finally, we present our annual Vietnam A-List, featuring the crème de la crème of Vietnamese legal professionals, 100 top-tier lawyers selected through accolades from domestic and international clients as well as endorsements from peers worldwide.

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