Hong Kong as an International Arbitration Centre (with photo)

     Under the theme "Maximising Opportunities and Managing Risks in Asia", the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) hosted a seminar in Frankfurt on July 2 (Frankfurt time), with another one to be held in Munich on July 4 (Munich time).  The two events are supported by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Berlin (HKETO Berlin).

     Through these seminars, the HKIAC, a leading arbitral institution in Asia, aims to provide insights into tapping Asia's growth and to give advice on effectively managing risks as well as enforcing arbitral awards in Asia.  The speakers included HKIAC's Managing Counsel, Ms Ruth Stackpool-Moore, and legal practitioners from both Germany and Hong Kong with rich experience in arbitration. In 2011 alone, the HKIAC handled around 500 cases of arbitration, with the majority of them being international arbitration.

     In his welcome remarks in Frankfurt, Director of the HKETO Berlin, Mr Ivan Lee, referred to one of Hong Kong's major advantages, "The tradition of rule-of-law is well established in Hong Kong.  Our legal system is familiar to the international business community."  Under the "One Country, Two Systems" principle, Hong Kong is the only city within China where the common law legal system applies.  As an international centre for legal and dispute resolution services in the Asia-Pacific region, Hong Kong has made continuous efforts to enhance its arbitration and mediation regimes, and cultivate an arbitration-friendly environment.

     Speakers at the seminar then shared their experience about the challenges and enforcement of arbitral awards in Asia, the advantages of using Hong Kong as the location for arbitration, as well as how German businesses could maximise the opportunities presented by the increasing investment flows between Germany and Asia and minimise the associated risks.

     Besides Hong Kong's convenient location and arbitration-friendly legal system, the audience noted that an award rendered in Hong Kong has wide enforceability in major jurisdictions across the globe.  Over the years, Hong Kong arbitral awards are recognised and enforceable in over 140 jurisdictions under the New York Convention.  As early as 1999, Hong Kong and Mainland China concluded an Arrangement Concerning Mutual Enforcement of Arbitral Awards, effective since February 1, 2000.  The enforceability of Hong Kong arbitral awards in Mainland China gives users of Hong Kong arbitral services certainty in this regard.

About Arbitration

     Arbitration is a consensual non-public dispute resolution process where the parties agree to submit their disputes to be resolved by an arbitral tribunal, where a final and binding award would be made.  Parties from different countries can choose to appoint a panel of neutral arbitrators, who may be experts in the relevant area.

Why arbitrate in Hong Kong

     Located on the doorstep to Mainland China and easily accessible from all major cities across the world, Hong Kong is the ideal seat for complex disputes involving foreign parties.  It has a strong, arbitration-friendly legal system, and a large pool of arbitrators, lawyers and other professionals.  The recently amended Arbitration Ordinance in Hong Kong offers a unified arbitration regime based on the Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law.

About Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Berlin

     The HKETO Berlin is the official HKSARG representative in commercial relations and other economic and trade matters in Germany, as well as Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia and Switzerland.

Ends/Thursday, July 4, 2013
Issued at HKT 22:44