Jurisdiction - Hong Kong
Reports and Analysis
Hong Kong – Chinese Arbitration Centre Opens First Non-Mainland Branch.

3 October, 2012

 

Legal News & Analysis – Asia Pacific – Hong Kong – Dispute Resolution

 

China’s international arbitration centre has opened a branch in Hong Kong, in a move the region’s Secretary for Justice said would “enhance [its] status as an international dispute resolution centre”.
 
The Hong Kong Arbitration Centre, part of the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC), is the institution’s first branch away from the Chinese mainland. Awards made by the centre will enforceable in all 147 countries that are signatories to the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards.
 
“The establishment of the CIETAC Hong Kong Arbitration Centre, coupled with the existing arbitral institutions in Hong Kong including the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre and the Secretariat of the International Chamber of Commerce International Court of Arbitration (Asia Office), will place Hong Kong in an even stronger position to meet the demand for high-end arbitration services,” Rimsky Yuen, the Hong Kong Government’s Secretary for Justice said.
 
CIETAC disputes seated in Hong Kong will be heard under the region’s own Arbitration Ordinance, which came into effect in June 2011. The new law was a “major milestone” in efforts to enhance Hong Kong’s reputation as a seat of arbitration, Yuen said. The Ordinance reinforced the advantages of arbitration including respect for the parties’ autonomy, cost and time savings and confidentiality in both the arbitration proceedings and related court hearings. China and Hong Kong entered into an Arrangement Concerning Mutual Enforcement of Arbitral Awards, modelled on the principles of the New York Convention, in 1999.
 
CIETAC, established in 1956, is the dominant arbitration centre in China and administered 1,282 cases in 2011. The centre has worked with parties from more than 70 countries and regions and is “establishing its credibility in the international community”, according to Dong Songgen of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT). The CCPIT is a national organisation which provides legal services in commercial matters involving foreign entities.
 
“The establishment of the CIETAC Hong Kong Arbitration Centre is a requirement for CIETAC to achieve first class international status,” he said. “While this is a necessary development in the close partnership between Hong Kong and the Mainland, it is also needed for Hong Kong to become recognised as an international dispute resolution centre.”
 
The opening of the new centre was marked with a conference intended to promote greater use of arbitration among the business community and give participants a better understanding of both the new centre and other arbitration services available in China and Hong Kong. More than 200 people from the legal, arbitration and commercial sectors attended the conference, according to the Hong Kong Government, during which they discussed greater cooperation between the arbitration services offered in Hong Kong and China.

 

 

For further information, please contact:
 
Vincent Connor, Partner, Pinsent Masons
 

 

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