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Singapore free trade rules to be relaxed

Singapore free trade rules to be relaxed

A STEP in the right direction, but not far enough is how proposed relaxations to rules governinglaw firms wishing to establish a presence in Singapore has been received.“It’s a slight…

A STEP in the right direction, but not far enough is how proposed relaxations to rules governinglaw firms wishing to establish a presence in Singapore has been received.

“It’s a slight improvement,” said Steve Pemberton, a partner in Allens Arthur Robinson’s Singapore office, “but it really doesn’t get around the problem that the joint venture structure is not a particularly attractive way to operate,”

The proposals are part of amendments to the Singapore-Australia Free Trade Agreement, and are designed to make it easier for Australian law firms to set up joint ventures with Singaporean firms. However, joint ventures had not been a popular option — all Australian law firms with a presence in Singapore were operating independently.

See The Asian Lawyer p15

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