In recent years, Singapore has continued to attract record investments, despite the challenges of the global economic environment. Its extensive network of double tax treaties, a strategic location at the center of all major growing markets, economic and political stability, judicial system, an innovative business environment and tremendous opportunities for business growth within the Southeast Asia region — these are just a few of the factors that make Singapore a success in the modern global economy.
If you are interested in concluding an investment agreement in Singapore, you need to collect complete information about the legislative peculiarities of concluding such agreements in this country.
Take for example such a feature as the absense of bilateral investment agreements (BIT) model, which should be remembered when concluding such a treaty in this jurisdiction.
As a rule, in Singapore, the “investor” and “investment” terminology are to be understood in a broad sense. Who are the “investors”? They are both individuals and legal entities. In some cases, under the “investors”, the government and/or government agencies are implied.
As noted above, the term “investment” has a broad meaning, which includes a non-exhaustive list:
- property rights, movable and immovable property, mortgages, pledges etc.;
- intellectual property rights;
- stocks, shares, debt instruments;
- licenses, permits granted in accordance with domestic law.
Singapore has developed a state investment insurance program, and this is a positive and encouraging factor for those who are interested in starting an investment activity in this country.
For example, a typical premium PRI policy covers risks connected with the breach of obligations and failure to fulfill sovereign financial obligations, expropriation, currency non-convertibility and more. Meanwhile, there are also criteria that a company must meet in order to receive this support. Among others, a company should have at least three strategic business functions and the presence of headquarters in Singapore.
Settlement of disputes connected with investment treaties
Throughout its history, Singapore has not been a party to the settlement of investment disputes with foreign investors.
Common dispute resolution mechanisms are envisaged in the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), the rules “On Additional Provisions of ICSID” and arbitration in accordance with the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules.
In addition, many treaties include provisions on negotiations as alternative means of resolving investment disputes.
Investment Arbitration Confidentiality
Individuals who intend to resolve an investment dispute through arbitration in Singapore should be aware of the fact that no laws in this jurisdiction specifically deal with confidentiality requirements in investment arbitration.
If we talk about international arbitration, which operates in Singapore, the law “On international arbitration” acts as the main regulatory law, and does not explicitly impose confidentiality obligations. However, a party may request a closed hearing to keep the arbitral proceedings confidential.
An individual consultation on investment contract issues will help you learn more about how to carry out investment activity in Singapore, and how to correctly draw up an investment treaty, and how to insure yourself against the adverse consequences of violating this kind of an agreement. IQ Decision UK specialists will also provide expert assistance in resolving investment disputes.