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ASEAN’s Sharing Economy: Understanding Opportunities and Navigating Regulations

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Map of Asean Countries

As internet penetration rates continue to rise in Southeast Asia, ASEAN grows more interconnected by the day.

Home to over 663 million inhabitants, the region is projected by many to be among the world’s most promising markets for a variety of internet based services.

Chief among these are services involved in what has been coined the “sharing economy” – a loose collection of peer-to-peer services known to substantially lower costs for key necessities such as transport and accommodation.

In a 2014 study conducted by Nielsen, Indonesia and the Philippines ranked as two of the top five populations worldwide primed to participate in the sharing economy. While Indonesia ranked second in the study, with 87 percent of respondents reporting a willingness to utilize products within a sharing economy, the Philippines only trailed by two percentage points, earning fourth placeVietnam

Thailand: New KYC Guidelines Issued

Thailand’s central Bank of Thailand (BOT) has introduced new regulations to ease the Know Your Customer (KYC) process using the electronic process (e-KYC) to open accounts on deposit acceptance of funds accepted from the public. Financial institutions globally are increasingly being required to comply with KYC guidelines under the anti-money laundering law (AML). As per the BOT Notification No. SorNOrSor. 7/2559 the following guidelines have been issued.

  • E-KYC procedures must have the same standards as KYC procedures and available only for individual customers using electronic means such as computers, mobile phones, other electronic devices etc. Financial institutions however, must get prior approval from the BOT.
  • Electronic signatures are acceptable.
  • Verification of customers must be done using ID cards or a smart card reader
  • Financial institutions must retain all information including KYC documents or their copies as per the AML law.

The regulation went into effect in August.

Vietnam

As Vietnam increasingly becomes a hub for foreign businesses, the government is streamlining the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) process to encourage investment in new sectors of the economy. While establishing a business in Vietnam may prove too cumbersome for some hopeful entrants, the M&A route provides a unique solution to many of these obstacles. With this path, investors will enjoy preexisting access to consumers, locations, and distribution channels. This local knowledge can prove critical to successful operations within Vietnam’s vibrant but rapidly changing investment environment .

To successfully carry out M&As within Vietnam, it is important to recognize the legal foundation of current policies, and to understand the procedures and limitations associated with acquisitions in Vietnam..


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