First High Level International Dispute Resolution Conference to Strengthen China-Singapore Cooperation in Legal Services
1. The China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) and the Singapore Ministry of Law co-organised the first China-Singapore International Commercial Dispute Resolution Conference on Thursday, 24 January 2019 in Beijing, China, to support the development of the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) and further China-Singapore cooperation in legal services.
2. Over 300 government officials, business executives, legal practitioners and academics from China and Singapore attended the one-day conference. Participants explored new opportunities for legal services under the BRI and discussed how China and Singapore could work together to help business resolve commercial disputes more effectively through the use of mediation, arbitration, litigation and to advance cross-border commerce, investment and economic cooperation.
3. At the conference, the Singapore International Mediation Centre (SIMC) and the CCPIT Mediation Centre signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish an international mediator panel to help resolve disputes arising from BRI projects. Under the MOU, the BRI Mediators will comprise skilled and experienced dispute resolution professionals from the People’s Republic of China, Singapore and other BRI countries and regions. The MOU was signed by Mr George Lim SC, Chairman of SIMC, and Ms Cai Chenfeng, Vice Chairman of CCPIT Mediation Centre. It was witnessed by Mr Edwin Tong, Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Law and Health; Ms Gao Yan, Chairperson of CCPIT; Mr Stanley Loh, Ambassador of the Republic of Singapore to the People’s Republic of China; Mr Luo Dongchuan, Vice President of the Supreme People’s Court of the People’s Republic of China; Justice Hoo Sheau Peng, Judge of the Supreme Court of Singapore and the Singapore International Commercial Court; Mr Lu Pengqi, Vice Chairman of CCPIT; Mr Han Kok Juan, Deputy Secretary of the Singapore Ministry of Law; and Prof Huang Jin, Vice President of the China Law Society, President of the Chinese Society of International Law and President of the China University of Political Science and Law.
4. Singapore’s Senior Minister of State (Law and Health) Edwin Tong said in his opening address at the conference, “This is the first time Singapore and China are working together to co-organise a high-level legal conference. It bears testament to the warm ties between the two countries and our shared desire to work together on legal services as a new area of bilateral cooperation.”
5. In her opening speech, Chairperson of the CCPIT Gao Yan said that developing dispute resolution is key to managing risks effectively and fostering win-win collaborations. It also plays an important role in helping the development of the BRI achieve depth, substance, stability and sustainability. Singapore is an important partner in China’s promotion of international collaboration for the BRI. In particular, the two countries have in recent years pro-actively explored deeper legal cooperation, achieving substantial progress and making a key contribution to bilateral cooperation under the BRI framework. Gao Yan said that this conference was an opportunity to spur substantive bilateral cooperation in international commercial dispute resolution to strengthen exchanges and collaboration with BRI participating countries as well as with relevant agencies around the world.
6. The organisation of this conference was supported by the CCPIT Legal Affairs Department, the CCPIT Mediation Centre, and Maxwell Chambers, Singapore.