The Asia Region Funds Passport (the Passport) Joint Committee (JC) held its twelfth meeting on 5 December 2022 in a hybrid format (both face-to-face and online). The meeting was chaired by the Japan Financial Services Agency and attended by representatives from Australia (Deputy Chair), New Zealand, Republic of Korea, and Thailand.
The JC was pleased to welcome online observers from the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the Securities Commission Malaysia, the Securities and Futures Bureau of Chinese Taipei, the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong, and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Philippines.
Progress of the Passport
In January 2022, the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) of New Zealand registered a regulated Collective Investment Scheme (CIS) based in New Zealand as a Passport Fund. It is the first Passport Fund approved under the ARFP.
The JC invited the CIS operator of the fund to share their experience of the registration process, challenges of the ARFP framework, and next steps.
Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) Amendments
The JC discussed the timing for the implementation of the proposed amendments to the MoC agreed upon in previous JC meetings.
The JC is reviewing the passport framework as required under the MoC. As part of this review, the JC interviewed market participants and non-member economies about their interest in the ARFP framework and issues regarding their participation. The JC shared a summary of the survey results and discussed the preparation of the report on the review.
The JC hosted “the ARFP Industry Day” in a hybrid format on 6 December 2022. This session attracted more than 100 participants from financial regulators and market participants in the Asia-Pacific region.
As part of the Industry Day session, the JC reported on the current status and future steps of the ARFP. Market participants and authorities from the jurisdictions participating in the JC also shared the trends and issues regarding the ARFP, as well as the market overviews and regulatory trends in each jurisdiction.
The next meeting of the JC potentially is to be held in a virtual format in the mid-2023.
The JC also agreed to hand over the role of Chair to Australia and the role of Deputy Chair to New Zealand for the next period.
Australia, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, and Thailand entered into the MoC in June 2016, then established the JC to oversee the effective implementation and operation of the Passport.
Established through the APEC Finance Ministers’ Process, the Passport enables cross-border offerings of managed funds to retail investors and intends to provide significant benefits to investors through more fund choices and easier offshore market access 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.