中国投资者投资于马来西亚:风险管理与争议 / CHINESE INVESTMENTS IN MALAYSIA: MANAGING RISKS AND DISPUTES (Bilingual Version)

中国投资者投资于马来西亚:风险管理与争议

第31届亞洲及太平洋法律協會 (LAWASIA)”東南亞的新時代” 之一带一路的会议于2018年11月3日在柬埔寨暹粒舉行。会议上的座无虚席。

身为LAWASIA一带一路倡议委会的联席主席,我发表了一篇论文,题目为“中国投资者投资于马来西亚:风险管理与争议”并讨论了3大要点。 以下为我所发表的节选。

中国投资者投资于马来西亚:风险管理与争议

在过去的8年里,马来西亚往往都是因为一些负面的消息而成了国际的焦点。最快乐的时光莫过马来西亚人民于今年的5月9日通过和平并无斗争的全国选举,推翻了前朝政府。

1. 马来西亚支持一带一路倡议并继续欢迎中国投资者投资于马来西亚

我国首相敦马哈迪以及拿督斯里安华,指定的首相继承者,近期内到访中国。这強調了馬來西亞對其與中國關係的重視而这中马關係可以追溯到2000年。

其实有三條水道對國際貿易扮演着重要的角色:人造的巴拿馬運河和蘇伊士運河以及由馬來西亞、印尼和新加坡沿岸國家管理的天然水道,马六甲海峡。

就是因为如此,马来西亚以及其邻国,新加坡以及印度尼西亚,将继续吸引外国投资者以及国际贸易商。

马来西亚还为来自美国、欧洲、日本和中国的外国投资者提供非常具有吸引力的主要枢纽的激励措施, 以让他们在马来西亚建立区域总部和管理服务机构。许多世界上的跨国公司, 包括来自中国的跨国公司(包括我们曾经协助其收购LAZADA在马来西亚业务的阿里巴巴)今天都在马来西亚运营, 以马来西亚为其在东南亚的区域商业活动的枢纽。

对于中国投资者来说,马来西亚大部分的员工都精通中英文双语。能促使中国经理人容易适应在马来西亚的外籍生活莫过于马来西亚庞大的华侨能用中文沟通并加上食物和文化都具有相似性。此外,马来西亚的教育机构已为好几代的马来西亚华侨提供中文教育。目前,一些非华侨以及外国公民也纷纷把他们的孩子送到华校以受取中文教育。

当前的美国中国贸易战争已导致在中国操作和运营的马来西亚工厂将他们的部分生产和供应链转移回马来西亚。在中国参与世界贸易组织(WTO)前,马来西亚是90年代的制造业强国。

如今,美国与中国正在进行的贸易战造成反向流动,可想而知,目前于中国操作和运营的工厂将移向更为经济的东南亚国家,譬如,越南,菲律宾,缅甸,印度尼西亚以及马来西亚。

马来西亚前朝政府对财务经济管理不善导致马来西亚的汇率创新低以及马来西亚良好的制造业和运输基础设施以及其连接性却让马来西亚成为中国以及外国投资者寻找生产中心和供应链的焦点。

就算美国中国的贸易战争能在今年底和平解决,中国将需要继续管理于美国的贸易逆差以及应对较高的生产成本。而马来西亚将是中国工厂的理想搬迁选择。我国将继续欢迎中国和其他外国投资者到我国来投资。

2. 充分的准备和遵守法律和合规文化是中国投资者管理风险的最佳形式

去年的11月,我参加了一个座谈。在该座谈,中国“走出去”的企业分享了他们在亚洲展开商业活动的经历。其中有2家中国“走出去”的企业涉及了商业争议,而另2家却没有。我很好奇并很想知道其原因。

基于他们不同的经历,我得出结论是那些不存在争议的公司为他们自身“走出去”的战略做了良好的准备。他们咨询了中国和当地的律师,做了市场调查以及对当地的合伙人做了尽职调查。他们也向四大国际会计师事务所咨询关于税务和相关的问题。

因此,充分的准备和遵守法律和合规文化是中国“走出去”的企业走向成功的钥匙。

在马来西亚,阿里巴巴正在承办重大的数字自由贸易区和电子世界贸易平台项目。阿里巴巴与马来西亚的新政府并没有任何冲突,关键为阿里巴巴是个上市公司,并拥有遵守法律和合规文化。同样的,阿里云和其他子公司,如于马来西亚操作和运营的蚂蚁金服有意筹备首次公开募股,都拥有很好的管理和遵守法律和合规文化。

3. 一带一路倡议是一个悖论: 项目越成功,争议就越少。

更多的争议将意味着 “一带一路”倡议项目的失败。

根据经济学家Marc Galanter以及他所提出的 “法律现实主义” 的理论,处于争议的双方才是最了解如何解决争议的主体。

这是因为争议的双方了解事情的来龙去脉包括项目如何开始,他们所要达到的目标,基于什么原因导致情况有所改变以及什么原因导致争议。

律师,调解员,仲裁员,法官,顾问以及其他相关顾问都是必要的第三方,但他们对争议的了解有限也只能适用一般规则以解决争议。

我们都是来自一带一路沿岸国家的律师。一带一路倡议项目的成功是极符合我们各国的利益因为它能够为我们带来互联互通和经济发展, 创造就业机会以及消除贫困。

所以, 我们与各方在 “一带一路”倡议项目中合作,避免和尽量减少争议以及提倡解决争议是极为重要的。如果这些都行不通,那么,利用国际调解来解决争议将是最终的策略。

但是,这将导致价值的破坏 – 双方在项目中就是希望获取收益。如果项目失败了,员工会失去工作而国家也因为如此而无法发展其经济。所以,争议将破坏经济价值。

其实发生任何争议都对我们毫无利益。

我经常说诉讼和仲裁的服务就如“丧葬”服务,律师和专家们赚取的是“殡仪员的酬劳”。那是一次性的酬劳。

鼓勵 “一帶一路” 倡议項目成功是符合律师以及社會各界的利益。在健康的经济环境下,客户与项目可以并存以及制造更多生意以及需求于律师行业。这是有利于律师的。

让我们一起合作避免和减少争议并帮助一带一路倡议项目取得辉煌的佳绩。

#法律 #争议解决 #律师事务所 #一带一路 #外国投资 #调解 #仲裁 #争议解决 #中国 #马来西亚 #东盟

#供应链 #投资项目 #基础设施

Chinese Investments In Malaysia: Managing Risks And Disputes

It was full house at the Belt And Road Session of the 31st Law Association For Asia And The Pacific (LAWASIA) “A New Era For South East Asia” Conference in Siem Reap, Cambodia on 3 November 2018.

As Co Chair of the LAWASIA Belt And Road Committee, I presented a paper on “Chinese Investments In Malaysia: Managing Risks And Disputes” and covered 3 main points. Below is an excerpt of my lecture.

CHINESE INVESTMENTS IN MALAYSIA: MANAGING RISKS AND DISPUTES

For the past 8 years, Malaysia has been in the international limelight, often for the wrong reasons. The happiest moment came on May 9 this year, when the Malaysian people changed the ruling government through general elections that were peaceful and largely trouble free.

1. Malaysia supports the Belt And Road Initiative and continues to welcome Chinese investments in Malaysia.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir and also designated Prime Minister successor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim both visited China recently, underlining the importance and value Malaysia places on its relationship with China which goes back 2000 years.

There are three waterways that are crucial to international trade: Panama Canal and Suez Canal which are man made, and the Straits of Malacca, the natural waterway managed by the littoral countries of Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore.

It is for this reason that Malaysia, alongside neighbours Singapore and Indonesia, will continue to attract the interest of foreign investors and international traders.

Malaysia also has very attractive principal hub incentives for foreign investors from the US, Europe, Japan and China to locate regional headquarters and management services in Malaysia. Many of the biggest multinational corporations in the world including those from China (including Alibaba who we assisted to acquire Lazada’s Malaysian operations) operate out of Malaysia today as a hub for its regional business activities in South East Asia.

For Chinese investors, a large segment of the Malaysian workforce is effectively bilingual in Chinese and English. Chinese is spoken, and the large Chinese community in Malaysia makes it easy for Chinese managers to adjust to expatriate life in Malaysia due to food and cultural similarities. Chinese schools in Malaysia has trained generations of Malaysians in the Chinese language and today even other Malaysian communities and foreigners send their children to the Chinese schools to learn Chinese.

In the current US China Trade War, Malaysian factories located in China have moved part of their production and supply chains back to Malaysia. Malaysia was a manufacturing powerhouse in the 1990s prior to China joining WTO.

Today, the reverse flow caused by the ongoing US China trade war, will see China based factories moving to cheaper South East Asian countries such as Vietnam, Philippines, Myanmar, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Due to Malaysia’s financial mismanagement under past governments, the currency is at historic lows and Malaysia’s good manufacturing and transportation infrastructure and connectivity make it an attractive location for Chinese and other foreign investors to locate production centers and supply chains in Malaysia.

Even if the US China Trade War is resolved hopefully by the end of this year, China will continue to need to manage the trade deficit in the US and cope with higher costs of production in China. Malaysia is a good relocation choice for Chinese owned factories and continues to welcome Chinese and other foreign investments to our country.

2. Preparation and a strong legal and compliance culture are the best forms of risk management for Chinese investors.

Last November, I attended a session where Chinese Go Out Companies shared their experience in Asia. 2 of them had many disputes and the other 2 had none. I was curious and wanted to know why.

After hearing their experiences, I reached the conclusion that those who had no disputes have prepared well before they went abroad, consulting China and host country lawyers, undertaking market research and local partner due diligence and consulting Big 4 international accounting firms on tax and other issues.

So the key to the success of Chinese Go Out Companies is good and adequate preparation, plus a strong legal and compliance culture.

In Malaysia, Alibaba is undertaking major Digital Free Trade Zone and electronic World Trade Platform Projects. They had no issues with the new Malaysian Government, the key difference is Alibaba is a public listed company with a strong legal and compliance culture. Likewise, Ali Cloud and other subsidiaries like Ant Financial operating in Malaysia are preparing for IPOs and have similarly strong Management, Legal and Compliance cultures.

3. The Belt And Road Initiative is a paradox: the more successful the projects, the fewer the disputes.

More disputes will mean the failure of the Belt And Road Projects.

According to economist Marc Galanter and his theory of Legal Realism, the parties to a dispute are the best people to resolve the disputes.

They are the people who knew all the facts such as why the project was started, what they hoped to achieve, what circumstances have changed and what the cause of the dispute is.

Lawyers, mediators, arbitrators, judges, consultants and other advisers are of necessity third parties with limited knowledge of the facts and can only apply general principles to resolve the dispute.

We are all lawyers from Belt and Road countries, it is in the interest of our countries that Belt and Road Projects are successful so that it can bring connectivity and economic development, create jobs and eradicate poverty in our respective countries.

So it is important for all of us to work together with parties in Belt And Road Projects to avoid and minimize disputes, promote settlements and if these initiatives fail, to use international mediation as a last resort.

I am mindful that I am also a lawyer, but I must say that lawyers suffer from a conflict of interest in dispute management. The more the disputes, the more business and fees for the lawyers.

But this will result in a destruction of value – parties to a projects come together to make profits. If projects fail, employees will lose their jobs and countries will fail to develop the economy- there is great destruction of economic value in disputes.

It is not in our interests to have disputes.

I used to say that litigation and arbitration services are like funeral services for which we earn a burial fee. It is a one off fee.

It is also in the interest of lawyers together with the rest of the community to encourage successful Belt And Road Projects. Clients and projects can continue to exist and create more businesses and demand for legal services in a healthy economy. That is good for lawyers.

So let us work together to avoid and minimize disputes and help parties to Belt And Road Projects succeed.

#law #disputeresolution #lawfirms #beltandroad #FDI #mediation #arbitration #disputesettlement #China #Malaysia #ASEAN #supplychain #projectfinance #infrastructure

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