The Asia Funds Region Passport (the passport) will, once implemented, provide a multilaterally agreed framework to facilitate the cross-border marketing of managed funds across participating economies in the Asia region.
In the longer term, the passport could also facilitate funds from the Asia region being marketed in Europe through an Asian/European mutual recognition agreement.
The passport was recommended by the Australian Financial Centre Forum in its 2010 report (known as the Johnson report). The Australian Financial Centre Forum was set up in 2008 to report on developing Australia as a leading financial services centre.
To develop and gauge regional interest in the concept, the passport was explored through the APEC Finance Ministers’ Process (FMP). This provided a region-wide working platform to collaborate with finance policy makers, regulators, industry and technical experts in forums such as policy dialogues and capacity building workshops.
Following workshops with members of 13 APEC economies (Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Republic of Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, the United States, Chinese Taipei and New Zealand), economies were invited to form a working group that would develop the detailed technical arrangements. Australia, Republic of Korea, New Zealand and Singapore accepted this invitation. Thailand and the Philippines later joined the group.
On 20 September 2013, finance ministers from Australia, South Korea, New Zealand and Singapore signed a Statement of Intent in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia on the Asia Region Funds Passport. The statement outlines an undertaking by signatories to publicly consult on detailed passport arrangements and sets out a process to see the passport implemented by 2016.
The working group meets regularly to negotiate the rules and arrangements for the Asia Region Funds Passport.