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Mediation Week 2018: Seminar on The Trend of Cross-border Commercial Dispute Resolution and the Belt and Road Initiative Successfully Held

May 2018
Mediation Week 2018: Seminar on The Trend of Cross-border Commercial Dispute Resolution and the Belt and Road Initiative (“Seminar”) was successfully held on 16 May 2018 afternoon (Wednesday) at Customs Headquarters Building in North Point, Hong Kong.  
 
Group photo of representatives of the organizer, co-organizers and supporting organizations.
 
Mediation Week is a major biennial event organized by the Department of Justice (“DoJ”), which aims to promote the development and use of mediation in Hong Kong. DoJ being the organizer, jointly organized by Hong Kong Mediation Centre (“HKMC”) and Mainland-Hong Kong Joint Mediation Center (“MHJMC”), the Seminar was one of the activities of Mediation Week 2018. 
 
The Seminar was supported by various sectors and organizations in the community, including the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce, the Chinese Manufacturers’ Association of Hong Kong, Federation of Hong Kong Industries, Hong Kong Trade Development Council, International Chamber of Commerce – Hong Kong (“ICC-HK”), Shenzhen Qianhai Cooperation Zone People’s Court (Qianhai Court), China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, Representative Office in Hong Kong and Macao, China Council for the Promotion of International Trade Hangzhou Committee (“CCPIT Hangzhou”), Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area Economic and Trade Association, the Professional Validation Council of Hong Kong Industries, Hong Kong Construction Association, China Real Estate Chamber of Commerce Hong Kong and International Chapter Limited, Federation of HK Jiangsu Community Organisations, Hong Kong Small and Medium Enterprises Association, China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission Hong Kong Arbitration Center, the Chinese Gold and Silver Exchange Society, the Association of Hong Kong Professionals, and Youth Entrepreneur Warrior.
 
The seminar was well-attended by nearly 250 attendees, including Hong Kong and the Mainland government officials, dispute resolution and legal experts, representatives from professional institutions and chambers of commerce, business executives and scholars. It served as a platform for attendees to exchange views and gain insights on the development of cross-border commercial dispute resolution in relation to the Belt and Road Initiative.
 
The Secretary for Justice, Ms. Teresa Cheng Yeuk Wah, GBS, SC, JP delivered a welcoming speech at the opening of the Seminar. Ms. Cheng said that the Belt and Road Initiative will bring new opportunities to enterprises in countries and regions along the Belt and Road. Attention could be drawn to the following three important trends of cross-border commercial dispute resolution: mediation of investment dispute, online dispute resolution and the establishment of a dispute resolution center specially designed for the Belt and Road Initiative.
 
Ms. Cheng pointed out that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (“HKSAR”) Government has signed the Investment Agreement with the Ministry of Commerce in June 2017. The “Investment Dispute Mediation Mechanism” provided in the Agreement can effectively promote the use of mediation in resolving different types of cross-border disputes. She added that Hong Kong is building an online dispute resolution platform, eBRAM.hk, and expected that establishing a safe, reliable and credible online platform will be a new trend. She also expressed gratitude to HKMC and MHJMC for co-organizing the Seminar. 
 Ms. Teresa Cheng Yeuk Wah, GBS, SC, J, SecretaP delivered a welcoming speech for the Seminar.
 
The Seminar featured the following keynote speakers: Mr. Wang Xie, Deputy Director General of Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Justice; Mr. Zhang Bin, Vice-President of Qianhai Court; Mr. Wu Mou, Vice-President of CCPIT Hangzhou; Mr. Ronald Sum Kwan Ngai, Chairperson of Committee on Arbitration & ADR of ICC-HK; and Dr. Francis Law Wai Hung, President of HKMC and Founding Chairman of MHJMC.
 
The first guest speaker, Mr. Wang Xie, Deputy Director General of Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Justice presented on the topic of “Reflective on the Collaborative Development of Cross-border Dispute Resolution Services under the Belt and Road Initiative in Shanghai and Hong Kong”. He said that the collaborative development between Shanghai and Hong Kong will play a major role in adapting  China’s   new era of reform, raising the standard of arbitration and mediation in the Mainland, working towards complementary development, and optimizing the legal environment for businesses. To facilitate the legal and cultural integration of Hong Kong and Shanghai, the Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Justice will strive to extend the influence of Luijiazui Law Forum; explore more opportunities for collaboration and discussion on key issues such as dispute resolution and legal development in the two places; and promote the openness of legal services for reinforcing the development of foreign-related legal services.
 
Mr. Wang Xie, Deputy Director General, Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Justice presented on the topic of “Reflective on the Collaborative Development of Cross-border Dispute Resolution Services under the Belt and Road Initiative in Shanghai and Hong Kong”.
 
The second guest speaker, Mr. Zhang Bin, Vice-President of  Qianha  Court, delivered a speech themed “Well-functioning and Bold Reform” by introducing the innovative foreign-related legal services and the Belt and Road International Commercial Court-Connected  Mediation Center of Qianhai Court. He said that the development of Belt and Road International Commercial Court-Connected  Mediation Center towards internationalization, professionalism, popularization, marketization, and informatization is in full swing. Qianhai Court is working with HKMC and other international mediation organizations to set up a team of international mediators for providing more effective and efficient dispute resolution services. 
 
Mr. Zhang Bin, Vice-President of  Qianhai Court, delivered a speech themed “Introduction of the Innovative Foreign-related Legal Services and the Belt and Road International Commercial Court-Connected Mediation Center of Qianhai Court”.
 
Mr. Zhang’s speech was followed by Mr. Wu Mou, Vice-President of CCPIT Hangzhou. Mr. Wu spoke on the topic of “The Role of Hangzhou in Cross-border E-commerce Dispute Resolution”. He pointed out that the Online Diversified Dispute Resolution Platform will have a stronger role as cross-border e-commerce disputes occur more frequently. CCPIT Hangzhou will collaborate with international mediation organizations for e-commerce dispute resolution. It will invite renowned experts on law, economics and trading to join its platform as mediators and enhance the quality of mediation training for internationalization and regularization of Hangzhou’s e-commerce dispute resolution services.
 
Mr. Wu Mou, Vice-President of CCPIT Hangzhou, spoke on the topic of “The Role of Hangzhou in Cross-border E-commerce Dispute Resolution”.
 
Mr. Ronald Sum Kwan Ngai, Chairperson of Committee on Arbitration & ADR of ICC-HK, shared his perspective on the topic of “Application of the Conversion of Mediated Settlement Agreement into Arbitration Award on International Trade and Investment” by discussing different cases. He pointed out that mediated settlement agreement may not be recognized in some countries or regions; therefore, it is crucial to record the mediated settlement agreement as arbitral award, if possible, for recognition and enforceability. 
 
Mr. Ronald Sum Kwan Ngai, Chairperson of Committee on Arbitration & ADR of ICC-HK, shared his perspective on the topic of “Application of the Conversion of Mediated Settlement Agreement into Arbitration Award on International Trade and Investment”.
 
After that, Dr. Francis Law Wai Hung, President of HKMC and Founding Chairman of MHJMC, delivered a speech entitled “Professional Support on Cross-border Commercial Development and Dispute Resolution Services in Hong Kong”. He introduced the unique strengths of using professional mechanism in resolving international commercial disputes at Hong Kong’s international dispute resolution platform. He pointed out that the diversified transferal system can safeguard the enforceability of mediated settlement agreement. Meanwhile, Hong Kong has established an integrated professional platform for trade risk management and dispute resolution services to serve the Mainland and international enterprises. With the extensive cross-cultural, cross-border and cross-industry experiences, Hong Kong is bound to provide the most effective, advanced and reliable support to the world and the Belt and Road development.
 
Dr. Francis Law Wai Hung, President of HKMC and Founding Chairman of MHJMC, delivered a speech entitled “Professional Support on Cross-border Commercial Development and Dispute Resolution Services in Hong Kong”.
 
The five keynote speeches were followed by Panel Discussion and Question-and-Answer Session. Dr. Francis Law Wai Hung served as the moderator to invite the guest speakers to exchange their ideas with participants and address to their enquiries.
 
Dr. Francis Law Wai Hung served as a moderator during Panel Discussion and Question-and-Answer Session.
 
The Seminar ended with closing remarks given by Ms. Elsie Leung Oi Sie, GBM, JP, Deputy Director of HKSAR Basic Law Committee of Standing Committee of National People’s Congress and Honorary Advisor of HKMC. She concluded the five speeches and looked forward to the future development of mediation. She hoped that all parties will cooperate to promote the use of mediation in resolving Belt and Road-related international commercial disputes.
 
Ms. Elsie Leung Oi Sie, GBM, JP,  Deputy Director of HKSAR Basic Law Committee of Standing Committee of National People’s Congress and Honorary Advisor of HKMC, delivered closing remarks for the Seminar.
      
Group photo of representatives of the organizer and co-organizers, and guest speakers.

 


 
 



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