Business / Macro

Nation eyes major role as commercial arbitration center

By Zhong Nan and Jing Shuiyu (China Daily) Updated: 2016-09-29 07:25

China will develop uniform standards and improve its legal environment to build itself into an internationally recognized and influential arbitration center, said the president of the nation's Supreme People's Court.

"China will further improve the judicial examination system for arbitration, in order to create a good judicial environment for the development of arbitration," Zhou Qiang, president of the Supreme People's Court, said at the 2016 China Arbitration Summit on Wednesday.

Data from the Legal Affairs Office of the State Council showed that 244 Chinese arbitration commissions accepted 136,924 cases regarding trade, investment and legal issues in 2015, up 20 percent year-on-year. The cases involved 411.2 billion yuan ($61.6 billion), up 55 percent from the previous year.

The main task in international economic and trade arbitration involves accepting international and domestic cases related to individuals and organizations, offering dispute resolution services in accordance with the agreement of the parties, and accepting cases on the authorization of domestic and foreign governments and international organizations.

As an alternative to litigation, international commercial arbitration resolves disputes that arise under commercial contracts.

With regard to making China's arbitration more effective, Renuad Sorieul, secretary of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, told China Daily: "It always takes time.

"Experience shows that creating an arbitration center is not enough. The opening of a center is not the end. What truly ensured the success of a center is the willingness of people from outside to go and arbitrate there."

"China's arbitration has been developing quite rapidly," Sorieul said.

"Efforts have already been made in modernizing the system in order to make China more arbitration-friendly."

"In order to build China into an influential arbitration hub, we need to conduct thorough research on new issues such as deciding the nationality of an arbitral award, the scope of business disputes that are eligible for arbitration, the execution of investment arbitral awards related to host governments, and the introduction of online arbitration," said Zhou.

Zhang Wei, vice-chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, said that China would further improve its arbitration system to build an open economic and trade environment, as Chinese enterprises accelerate the pace of developing their business abroad under the Belt and Road Initiative.

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