Singapore and China Mediation Centres Work Together to Help Businesses Resolve Disputes along Belt and Road
1. The Singapore International Mediation Centre (SIMC) and the Mediation Center of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade / China Chamber of International Commerce (CCPIT/CCOIC Mediation Center) will work together to support businesses and help them resolve disputes that may arise in cross-border commercial transactions under China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The two mediation centres signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today at the International Mediation Summit held in Hangzhou, China.
2. Under the MOU, the SIMC and CCPIT/CCOIC Mediation Center will:
a. Cooperate in the promotion of international commercial mediation through joint lectures, conferences and seminars;
b. Promote each other’s mediators and mediation-related services; and
c. Recommend the use of mediation facilities at Maxwell Chambers in Singapore and the CCOIC building in Beijing, China.
3. The MOU was signed by Ms Ng Chai Ngee, SIMC Board Member, and Mr Li Jianning, Director-General of the CCPIT Commercial Legal Services Center. The signing was witnessed by Mr Han Kok Juan, Deputy Secretary of the Singapore Ministry of Law, and Chinese officials from the Chinese Courts, CCPIT, and the Hangzhou Municipal Government.
4. The two mediation centres will serve Chinese companies investing in Singapore, Singapore companies investing in China, as well as companies investing in other markets under the BRI. China’s investment in Singapore accounts for approximately one-third of its total investment in BRI countries, while Singapore’s investment in China accounts for about 85 per cent of the total inbound investment from BRI countries.
5. Organised by the CCPIT and the Hangzhou Municipal Government, the International Mediation Summit brought together over 400 judges, legal scholars, lawyers, corporate leaders and mediators to discuss mediation and other dispute resolution mechanisms for the BRI.
6. Addressing the Summit at its Opening Ceremony, Mr Han said: “The BRI is a game changer. It has the potential to redefine the world we know and uplift the lives of billions. As the BRI involves high value, long-term, cross-border investments, a framework for resolving disputes should they arise can help build trust and confidence amongst governments, investors and people – one that is based on rule of law, is neutral and stable, and can assure fair treatment for all parties. The MOU is a building block for such a framework.”
7. Ms Ng said: “As the BRI takes off and cross-border commercial transactions grow, there will also be a corresponding increase in disputes. Mediation provides an avenue for these disputes to be resolved quickly, cost efficiently and amicably, in a way that preserves relationships and is consistent with Asian values that both Singapore and China share. The SIMC already serves many Chinese companies, and has helped many Chinese companies with their dispute resolution needs. The MOU will allow the SIMC to reach out to even more Chinese parties and create new opportunities for Singapore.”
8. The MOU comes less than a month after the inaugural Singapore-China Legal and Judicial Roundtable in Beijing, where Singapore and China signed an MOU on legal and judicial cooperation. At the roundtable, top legal officials from both countries discussed how Singapore can play a role in financing infrastructure projects and resolving commercial disputes, as China rolls out its BRI in South-east Asia.
9. The SIMC was established in 2014 to provide mediation services for parties in cross-border commercial disputes, particular those doing business in Asia. It has 70 renowned mediators from around the world, and over 65 technical experts from various industry sectors who can assist the mediator in complex commercial disputes involving technical questions. In 2016, the SIMC administered 14 cases involving various international parties. In 2017, it has already had 16 new cases, as of 1 September.
10. The CCPIT/CCOIC Mediation Center was established in 1987 to assist parties to resolve civil and commercial disputes through mediation. It has a nationwide mediation network comprising 46 sub-centres in various regions of China. The CCPIT/CCOIC Mediation Center handles more than 4,000 commercial cases annually, involving parties from more than 50 countries and regions.
MINISTRY OF LAW
19 SEPTEMBER 2017