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Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia is a dynamic and remarkably diverse region, experiencing extraordinary growth and presenting exceptional investment opportunities. In recent years, Canada has increased its ties to this region, particularly in Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines. The 10-country grouping of ASEAN (Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam), with a population of more than 670 million people (2020) is on its way to expanding its integrated market and production base. ASEAN launched its Economic Community (the AEC) in 2015. As a group, these nations represent Canada’s sixth-largest trading partner with bilateral merchandise trade exceeding C$27.1-billion at year-end 2019. Reaching C$17.5-billion at year-end 2019, Canadian direct investment in this region has surpassed our combined investments in China and India. Exploratory discussions for a possible Canada-ASEAN free trade agreement were launched in 2017 and are ongoing.

Blakes is retained by a range of companies from Southeast Asia for specific legal advice regarding their Canadian transactions, optimizing their business opportunities and limiting their risk exposure. Many Southeast Asian companies know that they can rely on our lawyers for strategic business advice and guidance through Canada’s legislative and regulatory framework, including foreign investment regulations and disclosure requirements. Companies from the region engage Blakes for our unrivalled expertise in Canada-Southeast Asia M&A, joint ventures, corporate finance, banking, competition, antitrust and foreign investment, taxation, and real estate matters. They also rely on our leading industry practices, including energy, natural resources and mining, oil and gas, environmental, financial services, infrastructure, manufacturing, and technology, for critical advice.

Working closely with lawyers at preeminent Asian law firms, we also assist our Canadian and international clients with their business relationships and investments in Southeast Asia. Many Canadian companies have been operating in the region for more than 30 years, in manufacturing, oil and gas, technology, mining and agricultural industries, and significant growth opportunities continue to exist.

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Recent Experience


  • Various clients on the ongoing defence of cross-jurisdictional claims involving China, Singapore and Canada involving allegations of passing off and copying of industrial design.

  • Canadian Solar Solutions Inc., as borrower, and Credit Suisse AG, Singapore Branch, as lender, on a credit agreement and the environmental aspects of this matter.

  • A leading corporation in the petroleum industry concerning export control and customs compliance issues involving the export of crude oil from Canada to Singapore.

  • Global Crossing Limited and its worldwide subsidiaries on their debt restructuring by way of sale of their notes to Singapore Technologies Telemedia for US$200-million.

  • GIC Private Limited, a sovereign wealth fund established by the Government of Singapore, on private investments and co-investments.


  • Bell Canada on the negotiation of new deals with other Canadian affiliates for Kapatid TV5 (Philippines) and Aksyon TV International channels and with respect to affiliation with GlobeCast (a subsidiary of France Telecom SA) for internet protocol television distribution in Canada.

  • The Government of the Philippines on drafting a new mutual fund statute and implementing rules and forms.

  • The World Bank on developing and implementing template procurement and contract documents relating to the design-build-operation of solid-waste facilities. Blakes advised the World Bank and a local government in the Philippines in connection with the first "live" implementation of the template bidding and contract documents. We also advised the World Bank on the refinement of the template documents for future use in solid-waste projects funded by the World Bank.

  • CGA Mining Limited on its Toronto Stock Exchange listing, its acquisition of the Masbate gold project in the Philippines and subsequent C$170-million private offerings.

  • Ratel Gold Limited on its C$14-million initial public offering and proposed acquisition of the interest held by Russell Mining & Minerals, Inc. in the King-king copper-gold project in the Philippines.


  • PTT Exploration and Production Company on its US$2.28-billion acquisition of a 40 per cent partnership interest in Statoil Canada Partnership, whose main asset is the Kai Kos Dehseh oil sands project in Alberta, and the subsequent negotiation of a joint venture agreement with Statoil Canada Ltd.

  • The underwriters in connection with the secondary offering of common shares of Coastal Energy Company, an exploration and production company with its principal assets located offshore Thailand.

  • TDK Corporation of Japan on its acquisition of the Lambda power division of Invensys PLC. The transaction included U.S. operations, European operations and a 58.2 per cent interest in Densei-Lambda KK, with operations in Japan, Israel, China, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.


  • Husky Energy Inc. and Petro-Canada on all aspects of the development of the White Rose project.

  • Husky Energy Inc. on the development of the Terra Nova project.

  • Husky Energy Inc. on its disposition of 50 per cent interest to CNOOC and the joint venture agreement for exploration and development of Indonesia Madura fields.


  • Technology and clean technology companies on cross-border commercial agreements, including licensing distribution and outsourcing for numerous countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.


  • A Canadian public company on forming a joint venture with the national oil companies of China, Malaysia and Sudan for the exploration, production, transmission and sale of crude oil in Africa.


  • Investors from Quebec, Cambodia and China on a mixed-use development of a 45,000-square-foot vacant site in downtown Montréal.

Myanmar (Burma)

  • A global investment banking and securities firm on the application of Burma Sanctions in relation to investment in securities of private equity funds.

  • A leading private equity firm specializing in the energy industry on Canadian sanctions applicable to investments in Burma regarding its US$3.7-billion acquisition of a supplier of helicopter transportation services around the world, including its Burmese-based assets.