China’s new Foreign Investment Law (FIL), which was adopted on 15 March 2019 and will take effect on 1 January 2020, is expected to create a massive new wave of FDI-related legal work in China. This will be due in part to the anticipated further opening up of the services sector (which is dependent on the final outcome of the US-China trade negotiations), but even more opportunities will be created by virtue of pending changes to corporate governance rules applicable to foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs) and as other restrictions on FIEs are removed under the commitments under the FIL to provide national treatment to FIEs.
As a result of these fundamental changes in the legal framework in China, all of the 500,000+ FIEs in China will need to convert in LLCs under the Company Law by the end of 2024, and the vast majority of the 120,000+ Sino-foreign JVs are expected to renegotiate their JV contracts and replace them with shareholders agreements that conform both to international standards and the requirements of the Company Law. Anticipated changes to thin capital rules and restrictions on use of foreign currency capital injections for downstream investments currently applicable to FIEs will also drive opportunities to re-engineer the capital structure and group corporate structures of FIEs.
So the new FIL will impact not only all new FIEs but also all existing FIEs in China, creating significant extended spikes in demand for legal support for related restructuring work, all within a relatively narrow window of time.
Presenters at this event will touch on:
- Overview of the new FIL against the backdrop of the 2015 draft FIL and the US-China trade negotiations
- Comparison of corporate governance under the Company Law vs. the EJV Law
- Next shoes to drop – updated negative list, implementation regulations, and other national treatment related changes
- How to address corporate governance changes prior to the effective date of the FIL and in the 5-year transition period
- Why FIE conversion will be a bigger headache than many assume
- Building a better mousetrap – developing a new standard set of constitutional documents for Sino-foreign JVs to replace the old school EJV contract
First 15-20 minutes is for networking
Sandwiches and beverages included