Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng speaks at the Seminar on the Trend of Cross-border Commercial Dispute Resolution and the Belt and Road Initiative in Hong Kong on Wednesday. (PHOTO / GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES)
Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah outlined new trends in the development of cross-border commercial dispute resolution amid the growth of commercial activities and the popularity of international arbitration and mediation.
Among the key trends highlighted were those relating to the mediation of investment disputes, online dispute resolution and the establishment of a dispute resolution center specially designed for the Belt and Road Initiative.
She made the remarks on May 16 when delivering a speech at the Seminar on the Trend of Cross-border Commercial Dispute Resolution and the Belt and Road Initiative, which is one of the events of Mediation Week 2018.
Cheng said that under the framework of the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government signed an investment agreement with the Ministry of Commerce in June 2017. It provides for an "investment dispute mediation mechanism" as a way to settle disputes. The mechanism can effectively promote the use of mediation in solving various types of cross-border disputes. Hong Kong will actively promote the development of investment and cross-border mediation.
"Innovative technology has greatly helped the development of dispute resolution services. I believe the establishment of a safe, reliable and credible platform to provide enterprises in various economies along the Belt and Road with convenient and cost-effective online dispute resolution will become a new trend," Cheng said, adding that Hong Kong is establishing an online dispute resolution platform, eBRAM.hk.
She added, "A fair and effective dispute resolution mechanism is all the more important in the process of implementing the Belt and Road Initiative."
Cheng pointed out that it is of utmost importance to establish a set of dispute resolution rules that are specifically designed for the Belt and Road Initiative, with recognition and compatibility for different cultures. The Department of Justice will assist interested people in Hong Kong to establish a unique, fair and impartial and internationally recognized dispute resolution center for the Belt and Road Initiative to provide dispute resolution services for state-owned enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises of various countries.
The Seminar on the Trend of Cross-border Commercial Dispute Resolution and the Belt and Road Initiative was organized by the DoJ and co-organized by the Hong Kong Mediation Centre and the Mainland-Hong Kong Joint Mediation Center as part of Mediation Week 2018.
The theme of Mediation Week 2018 is "Mediate First - Exploring New Horizons". It seeks to look ahead to future developments including online dispute resolution and the use of mediation in resolving international commercial disputes.