The Asia Region Funds Passport (the Passport) Joint Committee (JC) held its ninth meeting in a virtual format on 22nd April 2021 due to the continuing risks and concerns about 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.
Progress of the Passport
Following a successful implementation of the Passport by the Republic of Korea at the end of 2020, the JC members are all now ready to receive registration applications from local prospective passport funds and entry applications from foreign passport funds.
Despite many headwinds from COVID-19, the JC has and will continue to gauge and promote industry awareness of the Passport. Furthermore, the official website of the Passport (https://fundspassport.apec.org) will continue to inform interested fund operators about essential information and latest developments.
The JC also shared thoughts and ideas about future plans and strategic directions of the Passport and commenced discussions on approaching the review of the Passport arrangements pursuant to Paragraph 6.2(d) of the Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC).
Given the uncertainties over COVID-19, the next meeting of the JC is planned to be held in a virtual format in the second half of 2021.
Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and the Republic of Korea entered into the MoC in April 2016. Thailand entered into the MoC subsequently. The MoC came into effect 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.