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On 20 July 2021, the UK Government announced that the National Security and Investment Act will enter into full force on 4 January 2022. To help businesses prepare for commencement of the regime, the Government also published alongside this announcement a series of further guidance notes and materials.

This report, the fourth in our Asia Pacific Business Renewal Series, explores how businesses are now fortifying their ESG efforts and pivoting from strategy to action. As businesses integrate ESG action into business renewal, there is an imperative to mitigate risks and pre-empt regulatory and compliance complexities amid uneven recovery and progress across jurisdictional and sectoral landscapes in the region.

On 12 July, the European Commission and the European External Actions Service published guidance on “due diligence for EU businesses to address the risk of forced labor in their operations and supply chains.” The non-binding guidance seeks to provide European companies with practical advice on the implementation of effective human rights due diligence practices to address forced labor risks in their supply chains.

The Virtual Global Trade Conference is a virtual offering for all our clients and friends worldwide. Baker McKenzie’s international trade compliance lawyers from around the world discussed the major developments impacting international trade, in nine one-hour sessions which took place from 13 to 15 July 2021.

There has been a rise in cases in which The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited suspends trading in issuers’ shares because they have failed to comply with Rule 13.24 of the Main Board Listing Rules. Rule 13.24 requires an issuer to maintain a sufficient level of operations and assets of sufficient value to support its operations to warrant the continued listing of the issuer’s securities. The Court of Appeal in China Trends Holdings Limited v The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited [2021] HKCA 980 again upheld the Stock Exchange’s decision to suspend trading in an issuer’s shares pursuant to the equivalent of Rule 13.24 under the GEM Listing Rules. The Court of Appeal highlighted the court’s reluctance to interfere with the market regulators’ application of Rule 13.24 and clarified the application of this rule.

In the recent flurry of US Government activity related to Xinjiang, one thing is clear: trade compliance risks continue to increase for companies with supply chains that involve Xinjiang. These latest actions add to the expanding list of companies that face import bans, export bans, and sometimes both, in addition to broader measures under consideration in Congress. This blog post summarizes the past month’s developments.