The Hong Kong Mediation Centre (“HKMC”) and the Mainland - Hong Kong Joint Mediation Center (“MHJMC”) held a Joint Annual Dinner on 21 November 2017 (Tuesday) to celebrate HKMC’s 18th anniversary and MHJMC’s 2nd anniversary. The prestigious dinner gathered mediation practitioners in Hong Kong and the Mainland China to celebrate the two centers’ achievements and exchange ideas.
The dinner was graced by the presence of the following officiating guests: Mr. Wesley Wong Wai Chung, SC, JP, Solicitor General, Department of Justice (“DoJ”) of Hong Kong SAR; and Mr. Liu Chun Hua, Deputy Director-General, Legal Affairs Department, Liaison Office of the Central People's Government (“LOCPG”) in the HKSAR.
It was also attended by representatives from government departments and professional institutions in Hong Kong and overseas, including DoJ; LOCPG; the Office of The Ombudsman; the Home Affairs Department; the Legal Aid Department; the Intellectual Property Department; the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data; InvestHK; the Communications Authority; the Consumer Council; Sub-Councils of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade; and law societies, law firms, mediation and arbitration centers around the world and some 180 international professional mediators.
The dinner was kicked off with four keynote speeches. The speakers shared their perspectives on mediation profession, future opportunities for the mediation profession and recent development of mediation in Hong Kong and the Mainland.
Mr. Wesley Wong Wai Chung, Solicitor General of DoJ, recognized HKMC's achievements over the past years in his keynote speech. He said that one of HKMC’s remarkable achievements was the establishment of the Mainland - Hong Kong Joint Mediation Center (“MHJMC”) by HKMC and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (“CCPIT”) / China Chamber of International Commerce (“CCOIC”) Mediation Center. Following the development of the "Belt and Road” and the National 13th Five-Year Plan, cross-border trade and cooperation in other areas are expected to increase and inevitably give rise to more commercial disputes. The high-end dispute resolution services in Hong Kong can complement the national strategies to “go global” and “attract foreign investment” perfectly. The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Bay Area will bring new opportunities that businesses cannot afford to miss. Mr. Wong pointed out that, according to a study of “Fortune 1000” in 2013, many large corporations prefer using mediation to resolve disputes; and MHJMC is well-positioned to offer more diversified and high quality cross-border dispute resolution services to Hong Kong and Mainland enterprises.
The second keynote speaker was Mr. Liu Chun Hua, Deputy Director-General, Legal Affairs Department of LOCPG. Mr. Liu pointed out that being the “super-connector” between the Mainland and international markets gives Hong Kong unique advantages; grasping the opportunities arising from the Belt and Road Initiative (“BRI”) and National 13th Five-Year Plan and the unique advantage of “one country, two systems” will significantly enhance Hong Kong’s status as the dispute resolution center of the Asia Pacific region.
Mr. Liu’s speech was followed by Dr. Francis Law Wai Hung, President of HKMC. Dr. Law said that MHJMC has trained up international dispute resolution experts, business negotiation experts and risk management experts in more than 40 regions and has signed collaboration agreements with over 30 international dispute resolution organizations, law associations, universities and business associations. With the vision for international cooperation, MHJMC is rapidly expanding global coverage of its international dispute resolution platform, ensuring the enforcement of settlement agreement outside of the New York Convention.
The international dispute resolution platform will assist neighboring countries in developing their respective dispute resolution systems and talent pools as needed. Meanwhile, the development of international dispute resolution platform will boost MHJMC’s global influence. As more countries engage in MHJMC’s platform or develop their dispute resolution systems with MHJMC’s assistance, Hong Kong’s international dispute resolution standards will progressively be applied worldwide.
The last speaker was Ms. Wang Fang, Deputy Director of the Secretariat of CCPIT / CCOIC Mediation Center and the Co-Secretary General of MHJMC. Ms. Wang reviewed the cooperation activities of CCPIT and HKMC for promoting the mediation profession in China over the past two years.
She said that MHJMC and HKMC will draw on experiences in both China and Hong Kong and foster the reform of China’s diversified dispute resolution mechanism by contributing to a fair, transparent and predictable business environment in the two places.
At the end of the gala dinner, certificates of appreciation were presented to the committee members of MHJMC and HKMC, liaison officers in other countries and regions and outstanding mediators in recognition of their contributions to the two organizations. Senior international mediation experts, international mediation experts, international professional dispute resolution advocates were also awarded certificates to recognize their achievements. The establishment of the panels of these experts not only marks a notable milestone related to specialization of mediation in Hong Kong and the Mainland but also promotes the development of dispute resolution services.