Opening Remarks by Ministry of Law Permanent Secretary, Dr Beh Swan Gin, at ICC Mediation Rules 2014 Launch Conference
17 Mar 2014 Posted in Speeches
Chair of the ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR, Mr Christopher Newmark,
Immediate Past Chair of the ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR, Mr Peter Wolrich,
Vice President of the ICC International Court of Arbitration, Ms Loretta Malintoppi,
Ladies and gentlemen.
A very good afternoon to all of you.
I would like to thank the organisers for inviting me to give the opening remarks at this event. My heartfelt congratulations to ICC on the launch of the ICC Mediation Rules 2014.
We are all familiar with the ICC International Court of Arbitration. It is recognised as the most established arbitration institution in the world today.
- The ICC’s arbitration track record is an impressive one.
- Since it was set up in 1923, the ICC International Court of Arbitration has administered more than 19,000 disputes.
- In 2012 alone, the ICC Court filed a total of 759 new arbitration requests.
- The ICC International Centre for Alternative Dispute Resolution which administers ICC mediation cases is also doing well.
- Since 2001, the ICC International Centre for ADR has mediated cases worldwide involving more than 70 nationalities; and
- Over 75% of the cases transferred to the mediator concluded with a settlement.
Singapore and ICC
Singapore has been most fortunate to have hosted ICC’s office in Maxwell Chambers since 2010. From 2000 to 2012, Singapore has been the most frequent venue of ICC arbitrations outside of Europe, and the fifth most frequent venue internationally.
Singapore’s Legal Industry and Arbitration Growth
Singapore’s foray into international arbitration began in the 1990s with the establishment of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre in 1991. The impetus to grow the arbitration sector gained momentum in 2002, when recommendations to grow this sector were made by a committee tasked to reshape the legal industry. We have made much progress since then. According to surveys, Singapore has become the 3rd most preferred seat of arbitration, and the Singapore International Arbitration Centre is the 4th most preferred arbitral institution worldwide.
Singapore’s legal services sector as a whole has grown steadily. Singapore’s nominal value added from legal services expanded by about 14% to reach S$2.1 billion in 2013, from about S$1.85 billion in 2012. There is huge potential for growth in a huge market for all players here, especially in the area of dispute resolution.
Singapore and Mediation
- The back drop for this has been the rise in cross-border investment and trade into and between Asian economies.
- Since 2009, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows into Asia have grown by nearly 30 per cent, and reached US$400 billion as of 2012. That accounted for 30 per cent of global FDI flows;
- In 2013, FDI into Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, known as the ASEAN 5, grew by 7% (totalling US$ 128.4 billion) and outstripped FDI into China (US$117.6 billion) for the first time. Interestingly, a big chunk of that FDI came from China, now the third-largest foreign investor in the world
The rise in cross-border investment and trade flows, fuels demand for dispute resolution services. That in turn, creates the demand for a neutral venue that can provide the suite of dispute resolution services spanning arbitration, litigation and mediation.
Like ICC, we are seeing a growing interest in mediation for resolving commercial disputes. After all, at the heart of each dispute, is often a relationship that parties value and want to preserve. Mediation provides an opportunity for parties to look for win-win solutions. The launch of ICC’s new Mediation Rules 2014 is thus timely.
Last year, my Minister and the Chief Justice asked a Work Group co-chaired by Mr Edwin Glasgow QC and Mr George Lim SC to advise us on how to develop Singapore into a centre for international commercial mediation. The recommendations were released last December.
As a follow up, my Ministry will be putting in place a Mediation Act to strengthen and support the framework for mediation, to make Singapore a mediation-friendly jurisdiction. We hope this will attract the ICC International Centre for Alternative Dispute Resolution to bring more cases here!
It is our hope that the commercial mediation scene will flourish alongside arbitration in Singapore and achieve the same success as well.
- I note that ICC has prepared an interesting line up for the rest of the day. I hope that everyone will have an engaging discussion on mediation this afternoon and I wish you all the best for the rest of your programme. Thank you.
Last updated on 18 Mar 2014