“The US withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership will see Singapore putting in more resources to develop FTAs.”
RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Deputy Managing Partner Azman Jaafar said this when interviewed by Channel NewsAsia on the United States formal withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
The interview was featured in Channel NewsAsia and Channel 5 News.
“This may not spell an end for trade agreements for export-oriented Singapore. Singapore might put in more resources to develop bilateral free-trade agreements with other countries in the region.”
Other regional integration initiatives are still ongoing, including the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership that is seen as a multi-lateral trade pact that will replace the TPP and deepen trade links amongst Asian countries and China. The emerging global economic leadership of China will be the new normal.
Azman’s full feature can be found in the following news reports:
Singapore Tonight – Channel NewsAsia, 23 January 2017
5 News – Channel 5, 23 January 2017
RHTLaw Taylor Wessing has been ranked silver for its Prosecution and Strategy expertise by World Trademark Review 1000 (WTR 1000). Head of the Firm’s IP&T Practice Jonathan Kok and IP&T Partner Wun Rizwi were also recognised as Leading Individuals for Transactions, and Prosecution and Strategy matters respectively.
WTR 1000 describes the trademark practice of RHTLaw Taylor Wessing as “knowing what it takes to get signatures on the bottom line of high-rolling licensing and franchising IP deals for the Firm’s corporate clients.” With an extensive network that includes member firms in Southeast Asia, South Korea and Taiwan, it is perfectly placed to dispatch cross-border briefs with finesse.
The ranking publication acknowledged Jonathan as a frequent legal commentator on IP Issues in the mainstream media and a familiar name to the business community. The “receptive and responsible transactional whizz exhibits in-depth knowledge in a significant range of industries”. Newly ranked Rizwi is a technology, media and telecoms sage with two decades worth of experience to his name and is responsible for the South Korean desk of the Firm.
WTR 1000 extensive research process was conducted over a four-month period by a team of full-time analysts and involved nearly 1,500 face-to-face and telephone interviews with trademark specialists across the globe.
RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Deputy Managing Partner Azman Jaafar was interviewed by Channel NewsAsia and featured in an article titled "Slow start, but future remains bright for ASEAN Economic Community: Analysts".
The article makes reference to an interview with Channel NewsAsia on Singapore Tonight segment, where Azman shared his views on the impact of ASEAN Economic Community on local SMEs in Singapore.
The article was first published in Channel NewsAsia on 29th December 2016.
Slow start, but future remains bright for ASEAN Economic Community: Analysts
Source: Channel NewsAsia
Date: 29 December 2016
Author: Calvin Hui
SINGAPORE: Saturday (Dec 31) will mark the first year anniversary of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).
Conceived as a single market and production base, the AEC is part of broader efforts to integrate ASEAN economies. But one year on from its inception, about 74 per cent of Singapore companies polled in a recent Singapore Business Federation (SBF) survey said they do not think the AEC has benefited them.
Associate Professor Simon Tay, chairman of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA), said bigger companies have the capabilities to take advantage of opportunities from the AEC, but smaller business may not be so well equipped to do so.
“So the big test in the longer term will be whether the SMEs (small- and medium-sized enterprises) will be able to also play across the region,” he said. “And not just Singapore SMEs, (but also) Filipino SMEs, Indonesian SMEs.
“It will take some time because the integration is not just as deep. (There's) still too much bureaucracy and rules standing in the way. The tariffs, I think are gone, but these non-tariff measures are almost like barriers to deeper integration.”
RHTLaw Taylor Wessing’s deputy managing partner Azman Jaafar agreed that the lack of resources is a stumbling block for smaller companies. However, he added that it “just means that you have to be a little more ingenious”.
IMPORTANT TO CHANGE MINDSET
ASEAN’s market of more than 600 million people, and almost US$3 trillion in combined GDP, represents vast opportunities for companies from the city-state of Singapore. But Mr Azman, who is also chairman of the law firm’s ASEAN Plus Group, said local companies could have traditional business models that limits the extent of their expansion outside of Singapore.
“Local SMEs who want to benefit from the AEC must rethink how they are doing their business, and how they should change their mind set, and apply quite different rules of engagement,” he said.
Governments can also help to change these attitudes. Said Assoc Prof Tay: “Sometimes, SMEs, not just in Singapore but other countries - they are really on the defensive. Say (they) don't let people in, because I can't compete in my own home market.
“I think increasingly, governments have got to reassure SMEs that as the AEC opens up, they will be given assistance by ASEAN, by governments on the whole, to also go out and become more competitive, become more efficient on the whole about boundaries."
There is also the cultural diversity of the 10 member countries in ASEAN to consider, said Mr Azman. “When our local businesses are able to appreciate these differences, they are probably better placed to get into these markets,” he said.
LONG TERM OUTLOOK BRIGHT
Observers agree that it is premature to write off the AEC despite its slow start. "There's a right to get a bit disappointed with the AEC in the first year,” said Assoc Prof Tay. “But what makes me slightly optimistic is that, at the national level, different key economies have already started to see the need for reform."
Mr Azman emphasised that the push for the AEC to succeed must not come from just the governments, but other key stakeholders too. “It’s easy to say that the government has got to push this. But at the end of the day, a lot of things happens without government assistance.
“Within industries and within countries, if we keep discussing this, we open up the discussion across borders. This creates a level of awareness that’s very different from the level of awareness in a local forum.”
Azman's full feature can be found in the news report:
Singapore Tonight - Channel NewsAsia, 29 December 2016