IBA: Shang­hai to play lead­ing role in APAC

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By ZHOU WENTING in Shang­hai

zhouwent­ing@chi­nadaily. com.cn

Shang­hai will be­come one of the Asia-Pa­cific re­gion’s strong­est play­ers in in­ter­na­tional ar­bi­tra­tion as the city con­tin­ues to host more in­ter­na­tional ar­bi­tra­tion in­sti­tu­tions and has a strong sup­port from the courts, said the pres­i­dent of the In­ter­na­tional Bar As­so­ci­a­tion (IBA).

The Hong Kong In­ter­na­tional Ar­bi­tra­tion Cen­ter, the In­ter­na­tional Court of Ar­bi­tra­tion of the In­ter­na­tional Cham­ber of Com­merce and the Sin­ga­pore In­ter­na­tional Ar­bi­tra­tion Cen­tre have set up of­fices within the China (Shang­hai) Pi­lot Free Trade Zone, boost­ing the city’s abil­ity to re­solve dis­putes in in­ter­na­tional trade and in­vest­ment.

“The con­ver­gence of such in­sti­tu­tions will bring about a big­ger mar­ket of ar­bi­tra­tion, an ap­proach that is wide­lyused in the world to set­tle com­mer­cial dis­putes. This is es­pe­cially im­por­tant now that more for­eign busi­nesses have poured into the Shang­hai FTZ,” said IBA Pres­i­dent David W Rivkin at a me­dia con­fer­ence dur­ing the an­nual In­ter­na­tional Ar­bi­tra­tion Day on March 4.

“More­over, Shang­hai courts have shown a strong sup­port for ar­bi­tra­tion and the list of sit­u­a­tions in which the courts will set aside or de­cline to en­force an ar­bi­tra­tion award has be­come shorter,” added Rivkin.

Since the es­tab­lish­ment of the FTZ in Shang­hai in Septem­ber 2013, the na­tion­al­i­ties of ar­bi­tra­tors in the city have be­come more di­verse. The for­eign busi­nesses tend to se­lect those from their home coun­tries be­cause they are more com­mon in law, cul­ture, and be­liefs,” said Yao Hong­min, as­sis­tant sec­re­tary-gen­eral of the ar­bi­tra­tion cen­ter.

Two years ago, the China (Shang­hai) Pi­lot Free Trade Zone Ar­bi­tra­tion Rules was laid out. Le­gal ex­perts have said that the rules, which ap­ply to in­no­va­tions that are brought into the coun­try for the first time, are tailored for the zone and con­sis­tent with in­ter­na­tional stan­dards.

One unique rule is that peo­ple can choose ar­bi­tra­tors from out­side the panel of media­tors.

“New types of cases, such as e-fi­nance and off­shore fi­nance, may hap­pen in the FTZ. Pro­fes­sion­als from the spe­cific sec­tors may have more ex­pe­ri­ence on the front lines than those media­tors on the panel. They can make proper judg­ments when no ap­pli­ca­ble law is avail­able,” Yao said.

By the end of last year, a to­tal of 100 com­mer­cial dis­putes — in­volv­ing more than 575 mil­lion yuan ($88 mil­lion) — oc­cur­ring in the Shang­hai FTZ had been re­ceived by Shang­hai In­ter­na­tional Ar­bi­tra­tion Cen­ter.

Ma Yi, vice chair­man and sec­re­tary-gen­eral of the cen­ter, said that they have ini­ti­ated the China Free Trade Zone Ar­bi­tra­tion Co­op­er­a­tive Al­liance with the ar­bi­tra­tion com­mis­sions in other cities. Fur­ther­more, the cen­ter has also penned co­op­er­a­tion agree­ments with ar­bi­tra­tion as­so­ci­a­tions and cen­ters in for­eign coun­tries, in­clud­ing the United States, Malaysia, Ja­pan and Switzer­land.

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