The Asia Region Funds Passport (the Passport) Joint Committee (JC) held its tenth meeting in a virtual format on 29th October 2021 due to the restrictions on travel and gatherings and concerns caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19). The meeting was hosted by the Chair, the Financial Services Commission (FSC) and the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) of the Republic of Korea, and attended by representatives from Australia, Japan (Deputy Chair), New Zealand, and Thailand. As of the end of October 2021, the Chairmanship was transferred to the Japan Financial Services Agency (JFSA).
Progress of the Passport
In January 2022, the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) of the New Zealand has registered a regulated CIS based in New Zealand as a Passport Fund. This is the first Passport Fund approved under the ARFP, and all JC members are currently ready for the entry application as the Host economy.
Along with individual efforts, the JC endeavors to work together to raise industry awareness of the Passport. The official website of the Passport (https://fundspassport.apec.org) will continue to inform market participants about essential information and latest developments.
The JC also explored ideas on how to commence the review of the Passport scheme and on the appropriate timeline. Furthermore, the JC discussed various ways to develop the Passport arrangements in terms of procedure and potential progresses as well as its collaboration under the key priorities for APEC 2022 in sustainable finance.
Given the uncertainties over COVID-19, the next meeting of the JC is potentially to be held in a virtual format in the first half of 2022. Nevertheless, JC has agreed to keep monitoring the circumstances and consider the most appropriate setting of conference.
Australia, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, and Thailand entered into the MoC in June 2016, based on which the JC was established to oversee the effective implementation and operation of the Passport.
Established through the APEC Finance Ministers’ Process, the Passport enables the cross-border offerings of managed funds to retail investors and intends to provide significant benefits to investors through more fund choices and give easier access to overseas market to fund operators, while maintaining effective legal and regulatory arrangements for investor protection. The Passport is also designed to bolster the capacity, expertise, and international competitiveness of financial markets and the fund management industry in the region.