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ASEAN Economic Community Discussed

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Economic Ministers of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), at their recent Retreat held in Malaysia, discussed a range of issues impacting on the region’s competitiveness, Asia’s ability to remain as favoured destination for investors and, in particular, on the progress made towards the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).

The Ministers noted that the implementation of AEC measures especially in trade in goods have been very satisfactory with total compliance. From January 1, 2010, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand can import and export almost all goods across their borders free of tariffs.

For these countries, the so-called ASEAN-6, almost 7,900 additional product lines have been reduced to zero tariffs, bringing the product lines traded under the common effective preferential tariffs for the ASEAN Free Trade Area (CEPT-AFTA) to over 99% of the total. The commitment under the CEPT-AFTA is for tariffs to be reduced to zero by 2010 for ASEAN-6, and by 2015 for the remaining four countries, namely Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.

The Ministers agreed to intensify efforts to implement other measures in the AEC blueprint, which targets its establishment in 2015. There are specific challenges which need to be addressed expeditiously to ensure the implementation of the AEC is on track.

It was noted that there are gaps in the implementation of some commitments. These, it was said, have affected the free movement of goods, services and investments in the region. Some of the specific areas that were highlighted are eliminating non tariff barriers, increasing efficiency of customs clearance, harmonizing standards and removing duplication of testing and certification procedures within the region.

YB Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed, Malaysia’s Minister of International Trade and Industry, reiterated the need for ASEAN member states to comply and implement their commitments on a timely basis. The deeper integration of the region will lead to stronger inter-industrial linkages within the production chain in the region. This will also enable investors to source their inputs from within the region and contribute to the expansion in intra-ASEAN trade.

He also voiced his concerns over ASEAN member states adopting new trade measures which are deemed to be trade restrictive by the private sector. He proposed a more structural mechanism for Ministers to consult and discuss concerns related to non tariff barriers. The Ministers agreed they should revisit this in future meetings as part of the trade policy review.

Mustapa Mohamed also discussed the need for ASEAN member states to adopt a “self-certification scheme” for preferential trade under the various FTAs entered into by ASEAN. Under this scheme, exporters would no longer need to have endorsements from government authorities. The implementation of this scheme would contribute to lowering business costs and speed up the movement of goods within the region and with counterparties to the respective FTAs.

The meeting was also briefed on the specific issues that need to be resolved to conclude the ASEAN-India agreement on services and ASEAN-India agreement on investment. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to conclude the two agreements before the next ASEAN summit in October 2010.

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The Report

Offshore Trusts Guide: Introduction

The History of Offshore Trusts
Development of Professional Competence in the Jurisdictions
What Future for the Trust?
The New Age of Transparency
The Swiss Association of Trust Companies
The Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners

Offshore Trusts Guide: Jurisdictions

Bahamas

Bahamas: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Bahamas: 2006 Private Trust Companies Legislation

Barbados

Barbados: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Barbados: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Bermuda

Bermuda: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Bermuda: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

British Virgin Islands

British Virgin Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
British Virgin Islands: Special Trusts Act 2003
British Virgin Islands: The Trustee Act 2003
British Virgin Islands: :Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees
British Virgin Islands: New Laws on Private Trust Companies
British Virgin Islands: New Private Trust Company Regulations

Cayman Islands

Cayman Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cayman Islands: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Cook Islands

Cook Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cook Islands: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Cyprus

Cyprus: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cyprus: Supervision, Licensing and Tax

Gibraltar

Gibraltar: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Gibraltar: Legislation, Regulation and Supervision

Guernsey

Guernsey: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Guernsey: Trusts Law 2007

Isle of Man

Isle of Man: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Isle of Man: Supervisory and Licensing Regime
Isle of Man: Uses Clients and Tax Treatment

Jersey

Jersey: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Jersey: Supervisory and Licensing Regime
Jersey: Trusts Amendment Act 2006
Jersey: Foundations

Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Liechtenstein: Regulation Supervision and Transparency
Liechtenstein: Characteristics of Liechtenstein Trusts
Liechtenstein: Foundations

Madeira

Madeira: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Malta

Malta: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Malta: The Trust and Trustees Act 2004

Mauritius

Mauritius: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Mauritius: Characteristics of the 2001 Trusts Act
Mauritius: Additional Provisions of the 2001 Trusts Act
Mauritius: Tax Treatment

Monaco

Monaco: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Nevis

Nevis: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Panama

Panama: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Panama: Requirements for Acting as Trust Company in Panama

Seychelles

Seychelles: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Turks & Caicos

Turks & Caicos: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Turks & Caicos: The Voidable Dispositions Ordinance

Vanuatu

Vanuatu Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees




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