Friday, 24 June 2016 14:12

Hong Kong-based law firm to draft and revise Sri Lanka’s fiscal and monetary laws

Sri Lanka is to assign Hong Kong-based law firm, Baker & McKenzie to draft new laws as well as to revise existing laws relating to fiscal and the monetary sector, restructuring insolvency, real estate, assets, residency and property,intellectual property and tax. The company will be entrusted with the task of also drafting new laws for the establishment of the Colombo International Financial Centre (CIFC).

The CIFC will initially function at the World Trade Centre until alternative arrangements are in place at the Colombo Port City project where it is to be sited, a Finance Ministry memorandum revealed.
With offices in Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai, Baker & McKenzie is a renowned law firm providing a combination of local and global experience, helping domestic and multinational companies seamlessly manage even the most complex cross-border transactions. The law firm will extend its expertise to the CIFC to change local regulations and market dynamics and even the most complex cross-border transactions.
In the budget proposals for 2016, plans were announced for a specific zone along the lines of the Dubai International Financial Centre and other off-shore centres in the world. The zone will cover a 300,000 square foot area at D.R. Wijewardena Mawatha in Colombo, where a facility will be constructed.
Such centres are usually low-tax jurisdictions that provide corporate and commercial services to non-resident companies. They require separate legislation and tax statutes, a senior government official told the Business Times. The CIFC will have its own commercial court for resolution of commercial disputes in line with financial centre regulatory requirements, the budget proposal said. Baker & McKenzie will provide its expert consultancy for the establishment and functioning of such a commercial court as well as to facilitate private equity firms to set up operations and benefit from low taxation. The new centre will be a place for trading offices and booking locations to promote Sri Lanka as a regional cum global financial hub.

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