Current links: JIN MAO PARTNERS >> Legal Information >>

IPBA East Asia Forum 2022 successfully held in Seoul

It is refreshing autumn in Seoul South Korea on September 26, 2022.

The IPBA East Asia Forum 2022, the world's first major international lawyer organization born in Asia, was grandly held here. Lawyers and arbitrators from more than 20 countries and regions including China, Japan and South Korea gathered in Seoul to discuss hot issues of the rule of law in the post-epidemic era.


Focusing on ESG hot topic for the first time in 31 years


The IPBA focus on environmental, social and corporate governance for the first time since its establishment 31 years ago. Michael Paik, General Counsel of South Korea's SeAH Holding Company, Jack Li, a Chinese lawyer and founding partner of Jin Mao Partners, Jay Son Yang, a partner of Yulchon LLC, and Yeon Woo Lee, a partner of BKL LLC, delivered speeches successively. Christopher To, Chair of the IPBA Corporate Counsel Committee, moderated the session.

Jack Li, the 30th President of the IPBA, shared his views, in his English speech, on the latest legislation and practice of ESG. 

China has established and implemented a systematic legal regulation on ESG information disclosure. China has introduced compliance requirements for corporate operations from multiple dimensions such as "company", "people", "society", and "environment" to avoid out-of-order phenomena, and actively advocates the new era of business trends in which both economic benefits and social responsibility are combined.

As early as July 1, 2013, China revised Labor Contract Law to include the principles of legality, fairness, equality, voluntariness, consensus, good faith, and requires employers to formulate and improve labor systems to ensure that employees enjoy Labor rights and fulfillment of labor obligations. Subsequently, the Environmental Protection Law, which came into effect on January 1, 2015, established the principle of giving priority to environmental protection and pollution prevention, and stipulated that all entities and individuals have the obligation to protect the environment.

On September 30, 2018, the China Securities Regulatory Commission revised the "Governance Guidelines for Listed Companies" to establish the basic framework for ESG information disclosure for the first time, and added sections on stakeholders, environmental protection and social responsibility. Environmental information (E), social responsibility (S) and corporate governance-related information (G) should be disclosed in accordance with laws and regulations and the requirements of relevant departments as stipulated in Article 95.

On April 23, 2019, the revised "Anti-Unfair Competition Law" reiterate that operators to assume social responsibilities. In production and business activities, they shall not violate legal provisions, and not take measures to disrupt market competition order and to damage the legitimate rights and interests of other operators or consumers.

On December 24, 2021, China issued a revised draft of the Company Law, requiring companies to fully consider the interests of stakeholders such as employees and consumers, as well as social and public interests such as ecological and environmental protection in compliance with laws and regulations, and encouraged publish the social responsibility report.

The above-mentioned laws and regulations have drawn a clear system red line for Chinese enterprises, emphasizing that enterprises should pay attention to a series of social responsibilities such as labor and environmental protection in addition to economic benefits. In May 2022, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment of the People’s Republic of China announced nine typical cases of cracking down on environmental violations of hazardous waste. It is the actual implementation that has made ESG in China a practical development framework, rather than just talk on paper.

China is constantly improving ESG rating standards and guiding business entities to consciously improve their internal governance. Violations must be investigated in order to let enterprises understand what is not allowed; but on this basis, they also need to clarify "what to do", "how to do it", and "what is done well". Therefore, ESG evaluation system standards with Chinese characteristics and in line with national conditions should also be formed, so that the majority of commercial entities can clearly define the direction of their own governance. In China, the People's Bank of China, the China Securities Regulatory Commission, the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, the Shanghai Stock Exchange, and the Shenzhen Stock Exchange have successively issued relevant policies, regulations and guidelines, and responded in a timely manner to ESG information disclosure. On April 15 2022, the China Securities Regulatory Commission issued the "Guidelines for Investor Relations Management of Listed Companies (2022)", which for the first time included ESG in the communication content of listed companies' investor relations management. The Shanghai Stock Exchange and the Shenzhen Stock Exchange revised the "Stock Listing Rules" at the beginning of this year, further clarifying the disclosure requirements for non-financial information such as social responsibility reports. In the future, Chinese ESG information disclosure construction is expected to be further improved. By strengthening the participation of the public, it will effectively ensure the all-round supervision of the compliance operation of enterprises by various regulatory authorities.

As Ban Ki-moon, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, said at the opening ceremony of the 30th Annual Meeting and Conference of the IPBA, "the rule of law is an important achievement and common language of human civilization." ESG is such a concept content, new chapter that can be interpreted by this language. And how to interpret it, each country has its own unique concept based on its own national conditions of the rule of law. It is worth noting that under the background of today's world economic integration, the development opinions of various countries and regions on ESG are precisely through the influential international platform to complete the important sublimation of integration and mutual exchange, seeking common ground while reserving differences. ESG is not limited to the legal field, but it is giving the IPBA the opportunity to express the voice of the rule of law, develop the business of the rule of law, and tell the wisdom of the rule of law to the world. The IPBA is keenly aware of this major hot spot, and it is the way to explore, innovate and seize opportunities by making timely arrangements in this Forum to discuss and learn together!

The IPBA has always adhered to the vision of promoting international legal cooperation, and is committed to strengthening the cooperation, exchanges and mutual learning between lawyers in the Inter-Pacific region and lawyers from various countries and regions interested in business activities in the Inter-Pacific region, providing legal support and services to various economic entities. I would like to join hands with all my colleagues to forge ahead together for the international community ESG research and the development of Chinese ESG cause for mutual benefit and win-win results!


Continue to pay attention to IP protection, international construction arbitration and legal development


At this forum, topics such as international intellectual property protection, international construction and arbitration, and legal development in the Asia-Pacific region in the post-epidemic era, attracted the attention of many international lawyers.

Under the chairmanship of Mr. Pan Lidong, Chair of IPBA Intellectual Property Committee, Eduardo T. Genilo from the Philippines, Wei Xijie from China, Changkwon Kim and Bo Kyung Lim from South Korea, Vice President of IPBA, and American lawyer Michael P.Chu, etc. delivered speeches respectively.

Under the chairmanship of lawyer Matthew Christensen, Chair of the IPBA International Construction Projects Committee, and lawyer Sae Youn Kim, Chair of the IPBA Dispute Resolution and Arbitration Committee, Richard Briggs, the 31st President of the IPBA, and the British JCM of the IPBA Alexander Gunning QC, Korean lawyer Jeonghye Sophie Ahn and Singapore lawyer David Isidore Tan delivered speeches successively.

Under the chairmanship of lawyer Catrina Luchsinger-Gaehwiler, Chairman of the Banking and Finance Committee of the IPBA, Korean lawyer Chloe Jung-Myung Lee, Malaysian lawyer Raphael Tay, and Japanese lawyer Kenichi Tanizaki delivered speeches respectively.

Jihn-u Rhi, JCM of the IPBA South Korea Jurisdiction, Richard Briggs, the 31st President of the IPBA, and Sung Hee Kwon, Vice President of the Korean Bar Association, delivered speeches at the opening ceremony. Young-Jae Chang, Secretary General of the IPBA and Korean lawyer, delivered a speech at the closing ceremony.


East Asia Forum becomes IPBA golden forum


The China-Japan-Korea Free Trade Agreement is under negotiation. If the Agreement is signed, the China-Japan-Korea Free Trade Area will become the third largest economic and trade area in the world after the North American Free Trade Agreement and the European Union.

The year 2022 coincides with the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Korea and the 50th anniversary of the normalization of China-Japan diplomatic relations. It is the right time to strengthen the cooperation on the rule of law between China, Japan and South Korea.

On September 25, 2021, the IPBA East Asia Forum 2021 was successfully held in Tianjin. The forum was organized by the China Maritime Arbitration Commission and co-organized by the Tianjin Lawyers Association. The achievement of the Forum, Wisdom Gather in Tianjin - IPBA East Asia Forum 2021 Highlights, a new book published by the China Finance Publishing House was firstly displayed in the Republic of Korea.

The day before this East Asia Form, the IPBA Mid-Year Council Meeting was mainly held onsite with virtual conference as well. The newly established ESG Committee Chair and Vice Chair were approved. Attorney Yuan Weiming from Tianjin, China was elected as one of the Vice Chairs of the newly ESG Committee.

Participants look forward to the stabilization and recovery of the global economy after the end of the epidemic, the continuous deepening of exchanges between lawyers and the mutual learning of the rule of law, and the continued development of human civilization and progress!