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Hong Kong Grows As International Arbitration Centre

by Mary Swire,, Hong kong

12 December 2011

In a recent address in Seoul, Hong Kong’s Secretary for Justice, Wong Yan Lung, has expressed the government's determination to develop Hong Kong into a regional dispute resolution centre, in particular as an international arbitration hub in the Asia Pacific.

He had already remarked on a previous occasion that, with the commencement of the Arbitration Ordinance on June 1, 2011, Hong Kong had a brand new regulatory framework to enable arbitration to realize its full potential as a dispute resolution mechanism, and to further strengthen the city's credentials as the regional hub for international arbitration.

Wong now confirmed that the arbitration body, the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre, had already handled more than 170 international arbitration cases, and was ranked second in Asia in terms of the number of its cases in 2010.

With the strong presence of foreign lawyers in Hong Kong, he said that Hong Kong has long been opening its doors to major international arbitration bodies. For example, the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce opened the first branch of its Secretariat in Hong Kong in 2008, and has recently been benefiting from the increase of arbitration cases involving Mainland Chinese parties.

In addition, he added that Hong Kong has received significant support in this respect from the Chinese government. Wong cited the initiatives implemented in Qianhai to encourage Hong Kong arbitration bodies to provide services to Chinese enterprises there, and to widen the use of Hong Kong law in resolving commercial disputes, as a recent example of that support.

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