Two MOUs inked in China to boost S'pore arbitration profile

SIAC ties up with Peking Uni, Chinese body to promote training and increase collaboration

Singapore's reputation as a global arbitration hub has received a further boost, with the signing of two memoranda of underststanding (MOU) in Beijing by the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC). One is with China's largest arbitration centre and the other, with Peking University (PKU) Law School.

The MOU with the university, signed yesterday, will see them collaborate and include a module on "SIAC and Institutional Arbitration" in the law school's programme. It also commits them to letting the school's students intern at SIAC and to promote joint training workshops, among others.

SIAC chief executive officer Lim Seok Hui, who signed the MOU , described "PKU Law (as) one of the world's leading academic institutions" and lauded the opportunity to work closely with it.

PKU's vice-dean Guo Li, the other signatory, said he looked forward to academics and practitioners from both sides gathering "to share their unique insights and perspectives on international arbitration".

The other MOU, with the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission(CIETAC), was signed last Friday at the inaugural SIAC-CIETAC Beijing Conference on "Effective Resolution of Belt & Road Disputes".

Aimed at promoting international arbitration for businesses, the MOU will see a joint working group set up to, among other things, discuss SIAC's proposed cross-institution consolidation protocol, co-organise events and allow SIAC to use CIETAC's hearing facilities in China at preferential rates.

CIETAC vice-chairman and secretary-general Wang Chengjie said it will work closely with SIAC "to extend our outreach efforts to existing and potential users of international arbitration in China and Belt and Road economies".

These economies, in Asia, Europe and elsewhere, are involved in massive trade and infrastructure projects linked physically and financially to China.

WongPartnership senior lawyer and arbitration practitioner Chou Sean Yu noted that China is the second-largest contributor of cases to SIAC. "Increased collaboration with CIETAC should, therefore, assist in expanding SIAC's profile in China, especially with the One Belt, One Road initiatives in respect of dispute resolution," he said.

Singapore Institute of Arbitrators president Dinesh Dhillon added: "Such institutional cooperation is vital to the effectiveness of arbitration as a means of international dispute resolution."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 16, 2018, with the headline 'Two MOUs inked in China to boost S'pore arbitration profile'. Print Edition | Subscribe