A new institute was formed earlier this year to champion the cause of business law convergence in the region. A key supporter, Singapore’s Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, tells John Church about the possibilities
A growing number of people believe we are living in an “Asian century”. Many trade and investment initiatives have been raised in recent years with the vision to fuse the spectrum of Asian countries into a more unified collective. Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank and One Belt, One Road, two ambitious economic projects firmly advocated by China, are also fuelling this trend.
The increasing integration of Asian economies will no doubt inject more vigour into the economic development of China and other countries in the region. But the sheer diversity of cultures, politics, beliefs, races and histories may imply that achieving a close, supernational collaboration between markets in this part of the world is fated to be plagued by incredible complexities and hardships. And the convergence of Asian legal frameworks could only be more difficult.
Against this backdrop, at a Singapore Academy of Law conference on 21 January, the Asian Business Law Institute (ABLI) was born, with a mandate to “initiate, conduct and facilitate research and produce authoritative texts with a view to providing practical guidance in the field of Asian legal development and promoting the convergence of Asian business laws”.
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