The Asia Region Funds Passport (the Passport) Joint Committee (JC) held its thirteenth meeting in a virtual format on 29 June 2023. The meeting was hosted by the Australian Treasury Department and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. The meeting was attended by representatives from New Zealand (Deputy Chair), Japan, Republic of Korea, and Thailand. Australia assumed the role of Chair of the JC from Japan in January 2023.
Progress of the Passport
Each of the JC members provided an update on the progress of the Passport in their jurisdiction. At this time, one regulated collective investment scheme based in New Zealand is the only approved Passport Fund.
Memorandum of Cooperation Amendments
The JC agreed to the implementation of some amendments to the Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC). These amendments are minor and technical in nature. The intention is for the amendments to come into effect from 31 March 2024.
The JC progressed the review of the Passport framework. As part of this review, the JC is consolidating its findings from market participants and non-member economies about their interest in the Passport and to help identify any obstacles regarding their participation. The JC discussed next steps for the finalisation of a report by the end of this year.
The JC was informed about a review of the regulatory framework for managed investment schemes that is currently being undertaken by the Australian Treasury. Further information about the review can be found on the Australian Treasury website.
The fourteenth meeting of the JC will be convened in Australia in November 2023.
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.