Update on Investment Screening – August 2021

Australia – The Treasury completes consultations on foreign investment reforms

On 31 August 2021, the Treasury has completed its consultation process of recent reforms on foreign investment in 2020. In order to evaluate the reforms, the Treasury invited stakeholders to submit written statements on key elements such as national security, compliance, streamlining and fees. The overall evaluation is required to be completed by December 2021.

For more information you might visit the website of the Treasury here.

Switzerland – Swiss Federal Council sets out the parameters of a Swiss investment control regime

On 25 August 2021, the Swiss Federal Council defined the parameters of a new investment control regime. The consultation draft is expected to be available by the end of March 2022. The purpose of the new investment control regime is to avert possible threats to public order or security resulting from takeovers of domestic companies by foreign investors.

For further information you might consult the translated and shortened version of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs’ (SECO) press release of 25 August 2021, reported by Phil Baumann, CELIS Country Reporter for Switzerland here.

Japan – Ministry of Finance planning to add rare earth minerals to sensitive sectors

The Ministry of Finance launched a public consultation over a draft amendment to the Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Act. The draft proposes to add rare-earth metal industries to the list of the sensitive sectorsbeing subject to investment screening in order to ensure national security. The draft amendment is expected to enter in to force later this year following a public consultation period until 16 September 2021.

The draft amendment and further information can be found here.

Vietnam – Draft decision on investment incentives to be issued by the Prime Minister

The Ministry of Planning and Investment has released the draft Decision to be issued by the Prime Minister governing the Special Investment Incentives for public consultation. The Draft Decision shall detail some provisions of the Investment Law (Law No. 61/2020/QH14). According to the Draft Decision there shall be new criteria such as technology transfer and participation in a value chain to determine which incitive package shall apply to the new investment projects.

Academic Paper – “Recent Changes in the German Investment Screening Mechanism in Light of the EU Screening Regulation”

Teoman M. Hagemeyer-Witzleb and Steffen Hindelang critically review the most significant changes in German Investment Screening Law brought about by one law (Erstes Gesetz zur Änderung des Außenwirtschaftsgesetzes und anderer Gesetze) and three ordinances (Fünfzehnte, Sechzehnte und Siebzente Verordnung zur Änderung der Außenwirtschaftsverordnung) and provide an overview of the reformed screening procedure.

You may consult the paper here.