Legal Updates for August 2023

Beyond the Singapore Convention: Lawsuit for Settlement Deed as a Way to Enforce Cross-Border Settlement Agreement in Indonesia

In an increasingly interconnected global landscape, the intricacies of cross-border disputes have underscored the need for effective resolution mechanisms. Among these mechanisms, international mediation has emerged as one of the avenues for achieving consensus in cross-border cases. However, many businesses still hesitate in choosing international mediation due to the differing practices on enforcement of mediated settlement agreements.

To respond to this pressing need, the Singapore Convention on Mediation (“Singapore Convention”) was conceived in 2019 as a solution to address the enforcement gap concerning mediated settlements across international borders. Its objectives centre around streamlining and standardising the recognition and enforcement of mediated agreements. By doing so, the Singapore Convention offers a systematic, cost-effective, and expeditious alternative to litigation.

With respect to Indonesia, it has not ratified the Singapore Convention. Nonetheless, Indonesia has two legislative frameworks governing mediation: Law No. 30 of 1999 on Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution ("Law 30"), which pertains to mediations stemming from alternative dispute resolution, and Supreme Court Regulation No. 1 of 2016 ("Regulation"), governing mediations emerging from court proceedings.

This writing will discuss how foreign businesses are increasingly turning to filing lawsuits for settlement deeds under the Regulation as a way to enforce their settlement agreements in Indonesia. It underscores the evolving landscape of cross-border dispute resolution in a nation grappling with the complexities of international mediation amidst the absence of direct adherence to the Singapore Convention.

Latest Developments in the Indonesian Crypto Market: Indonesian Crypto Ecosystem Comes Full Circle

In July 2023, the Indonesian crypto market finally came full circle when the current Indonesian crypto regulator (the Commodity Futures Trading Regulatory Agency or Badan Pengawas Perdagangan Berjangka Komoditi (Bappebti) approved PT Bursa Komoditi Nusantara to run the crypto asset bourse.

A Detailed Look at Indonesia’s Electronic Summons

The global legal landscape is continually evolving, and we have seen how technological advancements have revolutionised the way the legal system operates. In this context, the introduction of the electronic court ("e-Court") proceedings has garnered significant attention and has been dubbed a breakthrough in the Indonesian legal system. This client update explores the implementation of electronic summons (often called e-summons), highlighting its impact on the conventional summons system, the emergence of e-Court, the intricacies of e-summons, and concludes with recommendations.

Indonesia Requires Exporters to Retain 30% of Their Earnings from Export of Natural Resources Domestically

Starting from 1 August 2023, exporters of natural resources products, namely those generated from mining, plantation, forestry, and fishery businesses, must place at least 30% of the proceeds generated by them from the export of natural resources products (these proceeds are referred to as DHE SDA or Devisa Hasil Ekspor dari Barang Ekspor Sumber Daya Alam) in the country’s financial system. This requirement is introduced under Government Regulation No. 36 of 2023 on Export Proceeds from Natural Resources Business Activities, Management, and/or Processing ("Regulation").

Despite Indonesia seeing an increased growth of the export of natural resources products, this growth has not been accompanied by a growth in DHE (devisa hasil ekspor or foreign exchange proceeds from export). This is because exporters often choose to keep their DHE offshore, citing a more competitive interest rate and convenience in operation as their reasons in doing so. As a result, Indonesia’s rapid growth in exports is not reflected with proportional growth of DHE placed in domestic storages which may adversely affect the nation’s profitability.

Regional Competition Bites Q2 2023

The Regional Competition Bites Q2 2023 - we here share various legislative and regulatory developments across Southeast Asia. Numerous developments have occurred on the merger front in a number of countries, as well as on the behavioural and investigation side.

On merger control, Cambodia has issued various new regulations which sets out applicable penalties for violating the Law on Competition and also introduces a post-merger notification regime. This follows Cambodia’s recent establishment of its merger control framework, which will come into effect in Cambodia in September 2023.The Philippines has also issued non-horizontal merger review guidelines, with draft guidelines in progress for the motu proprio review of mergers in digital markets. Thailand has issued fines against real estate developers for the late filing of merger notifications.

Mergers aside, the Indonesia Competition Commission has introduced a series of new guidelines on bid-rigging, relevant market definition, and assessment of negative impact, and a Checklist of Competition policies for the government to ensure that its policies align with fair business competition principles. Vietnam is also reviewing its draft Consumer Protection Law and has approved a plan that aims to strengthen anti-counterfeiting measures and protect consumers in online transactions.

In Singapore, sustainability remains a focus, and the regulator has just launched a public consultation on proposed guidance for evaluating environmental sustainability collaborations among competitors soon.