Hong Kong Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen has said that the setting up of the new Asia-Pacific Regional Office of the Hague Conference on Private International Law in Hong Kong constitutes a significant vote of confidence in Hong Kong's position as a regional legal services centre.
Yuen disclosed that, with strong support from the Chinese government, the Council on General Affairs and Policy of the Hague Conference decided in April this year to set up its second regional office in Hong Kong (in addition to its Latin American regional office in Buenos Aires), as a springboard for it to further develop its work and extend its influence in the region.
"The Hague Conventions stand out as shining examples of a pool of international instruments, in the field of private international law on various subject matters, which may be conveniently tapped into by any state in the region," Yuen said at the office's opening ceremony. "Many of these instruments have been tested by time and actual cases, and we can testify that they have served Hong Kong very well over the years."
China’s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Cui Tiankai observed that establishing its Regional Office in Hong Kong was an important strategic decision by the Hague Conference on its long-term development, as "it will be a gateway for the Hague Conference to extend its influence and serve as a platform for further co-operation in the Asia-Pacific region. China will, as before, actively participate in its activities and give strong support to the work of the Regional Office."
Secretary General of the Hague Conference Hans van Loon confirmed that: "The task of the Hague Conference on Private International Law is to develop and service such multilateral legal instruments, conventions, which, despite the differences between legal systems, will allow individuals as well as companies to enjoy a high degree of legal security. For this reason, I am certain that the new Asia Pacific Regional Office here in Hong Kong will be a tremendous asset for years to come."
The Hague Conference is a leading global inter-governmental organization in the field of private international law. It develops and services multilateral legal instruments on private international law, commonly known as the Hague Conventions, which respond to global needs. There are now over 130 countries that are party to one or more of the Hague Conventions.
In addition to its statutory mission for progressive unification of private international law rules ranging from commercial law and banking law to international civil procedure, it also fosters international judicial and administrative co-operation in the area of private law and civil procedure. China is a member of the Hague Conference and Hong Kong representatives participate in the work of the Hague Conference as members of the Chinese delegation..
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