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Guide to help lawyers navigate Belt, Road

By Zhang Yan | China Daily | Updated: 2017-06-23 09:21

Legal professionals from China and countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative have jointly released a guidebook on investment-related laws to help prevent and solve rising commercial disputes, a senior official of the All China Lawyers Association said.

Leading law firms in Belt and Road countries will work together to compile a practical guide of investment-related laws to reduce legal risks while enterprises make investments, Jiang Junlu, deputy director of the association's international business committee, told China Daily in an exclusive interview.

"A proper legal system and sound legal services are essential to ensure the smooth progress of Belt and Road projects, such as transnational investment and building strategic maritime channels," he said.

In 2013, President Xi Jinping proposed the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, together known as he Belt and Road Initiative. The initiative aims to promote free trade, infrastructure construction and people-to-people exchanges among different continents.

Jiang said the guide would have two volumes, which cover the laws involving several fields ranging from investment, trade, labor, environmental conservation, intellectual property and dispute resolutions.

"Such a guidebook will enable Chinese officials, businessmen and experts to fully understand the legal system and laws of the Belt and Road countries and provide legal support for Chinese enterprises while they expand their business in Belt and Road countries," Jiang said.

He said the first guidebook of investment-related laws, which covers 43 countries such as Myanmar, the Philippines and Russia, was published early this month and the second one involving more countries will be published at the end of this year.

The Ministry of Justice has allocated about 1.1 million yuan ($165,100) for compiling the guidebooks.

Apart from the guidebook, the association also will set up representative offices in some Belt and Road countries, according to Jiang.

Moreover, the association plans to organize a regular annual forum to discuss legal concerns related with the Belt and Road projects, including infrastructure construction, international trade and shipping finance, he said.

He Yong, general secretary of the association, said in an earlier interview the association had established a database of 86 Chinese lawyers and 121 foreign lawyers from key Belt and Road law firms who would use the platform to "understand the laws and practices, share information and experiences to better serve the initiative".

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