On 30 August 2022, the Indonesian House of Representatives agreed to pass a law ratifying the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, the largest regional free trade agreement outside the World Trade Organization — involving 10 ASEAN countries and five non-ASEAN countries, i.e., China, New Zealand, Australia, Japan and South Korea. With the passing of this law, which still requires promulgation by the President, RCEP is set to come into force for Indonesia, possibly before the end of the year.
On December 9, 2021, the US Departments of State and Commerce amended their regulations to strengthen US export controls targeting Cambodia. According to the Federal Register notices announcing these final rules, these enhanced export control measures were adopted in response to the expanded Chinese military presence in Cambodia, as well as the corruption and human rights abuses allegedly committed by the Cambodian Government. This action builds on various public statements from the US Government this year expressing concerns about Cambodia and warning US business about conducting business in or with that country, as described in more detail below.
On November 10, 2021, the US Departments of State, Treasury, and Commerce issued a joint advisory (the “Advisory”) cautioning US companies operating in or considering operations in Cambodia to be conscious of dealings with entities and in sectors potentially involved in human rights abuses, criminal activities, and corrupt business practices. We describe the Advisory in additional detail below.
On November 10, the Department of State, Department of Treasury, and Department of Commerce released an advisory titled “Considerations for US Companies and Organizations that Conduct Business in Cambodia within Key Sectors or in Partnership with High Risk Entities” (the “Cambodia Advisory”). The Cambodia Advisory is focused on corporations and, according to the accompanying press release, is meant to caution businesses currently operating, or considering operations, in Cambodia to be mindful of interactions with entities and sectors potentially involved in human rights abuses, criminal activities, and corrupt business practices. This blog post will be focused on the corruption and responsible sourcing risks highlighted by the Cambodia Advisory.
Please join us for a new weekly video series, hosted by Baker McKenzie’s North America Government Enforcement partners Tom Firestone and Jerome Tomas. This weekly briefing is available on demand and will cover new Cambodia sanctions and the Steven Bannon Indictment.
Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry announced that on 9 April 2021, Singapore deposited its instrument of ratification with the Secretary-General of ASEAN and became the first country to complete the official process for ratification of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement.