Media Outreach Newswire

Greater Bay Area Arbitration Institutions joined hands in Hong Kong

HONG KONG SAR – Media OutReach Newswire – 20 May 2024 – The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Arbitration “Going Global” Cooperation and Development Forum, focusing on technological leadership, rule integration, and the annual working conference of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Arbitration Alliance (“Alliance”), was successfully concluded on May 9th at the Conrad, Hong Kong. The event was organized by the Hong Kong Institute of Arbitrators (“HKIArb”) and co-hosted by the Nansha International Arbitration Centre of the Guangzhou Arbitration Commission. 14 members of the Alliance in GBA, well-known arbitration legal institutions from the Yangtze River Delta region, the Western Region of China and other foreign countries as well as representatives from the business and academic sectors attended the meeting.

Group photo of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Arbitration
Group photo of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Arbitration “Going Global” Cooperation and Development Forum

The conference was held in the form of “keynote speech + sub-forum”. Mr. Kwong Chi-keung, President of HKIArb, delivered the opening speech. The sub-forum “Opportunities and Challenges for the Development of Intelligent Arbitration under the Digital Perspective” was moderated by Wu Xueting, Vice President of the Zhuhai International Arbitration Court, and the sub-forum “Innovative Practices in the Convergence of Arbitration Rules in the Era of Globalization” was moderated by Fan Qijuan, Deputy General Counsel of the Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration. Internationally renowned experts such as Gu Yanning, full-time deputy director and secretary-general of the Nanjing Arbitration Commission, Zhao Yun, a professor at the University of Hong Kong, attended the forum and gave inspiring speeches.

At the meeting, the Alliance officially released the “Top Ten Classic Cases and Events” of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Arbitration Alliance in 2023″ illustrating the achievements of Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Macau, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Huizhou, Dongguan and Zhaoqing in the development of arbitration practice.

【Advantages of Hong Kong in the Development of Arbitration Cooperation in the Greater Bay Area】

Mr. C. K. Kwong, JP, President of the Hong Kong Institute of Arbitrators, highlighted the role of arbitration in resolving disputes arising from modern cross-border trade and commercial activities in his opening speech. Modern international trade and commercial transactions involve multiple parties and laws of different countries, regions, and jurisdictions. Arbitration can simultaneously handle disputes involving multiple legal systems, and arbitration awards can be recognized and enforced in 172 countries under the New York Convention. Commercial arbitration has become an internationally recognized channel for resolving commercial disputes, and arbitration institutions worldwide have become important components in the system for resolving international business disputes.

“Justice delayed is justice denied”. “If fairness is the soul of arbitration, efficiency is its lifeline”. Achieving a balance between fairness and efficiency is not easy. In the digital environment, the use of artificial intelligence in dispute resolution is a necessary and irreversible trend. However, artificial intelligence cannot replace arbitrators, as the authority and responsibility for making decisions still rest with the arbitrators. This principle is outlined in the Supreme People’s Court’s Opinion on the Application of Artificial Intelligence in Judicial Practice (Document No. 33 of 2022).

The arbitration law reform proposed by President Kwong was enacted as the Hong Kong Arbitration (Amendment) Ordinance 2017. This legislation is the world’s first comprehensive statute giving statutory guidance to clearly state that all intellectual property disputes, including the validity of registered intellectual property rights, are arbitrable. It highlights the advantages of using Hong Kong law as the governing law of arbitration agreements and Hong Kong as the seat of arbitration. Subsequently, Singapore made corresponding amendments in 2019. In 2022/2023, the Rules of the European Patent Court also accept that, with the consent of both parties, an arbitral tribunal can issue awards on the validity or invalidity of registered intellectual property rights. This reflects the integration and common characteristics of arbitration laws. China has become a major country in the creation and export of intellectual property. In contracts related to international trade and commerce, the use of Hong Kong law and arbitration as the seat of arbitration can better facilitate Chinese companies in effectively protecting their rights and interests. President Kwong also recommended the book “Hong Kong Arbitration Judgments and Commentaries,” co-authored by him and former President Mr. Samuel Wong, which was published by the Hong Kong Institute of Arbitrators in November last year, to provide readers interested in arbitration with a better understanding of Hong Kong and international arbitration.

Mr. Sun Taiping, Secretary of the Guangzhou Municipal Committee and the Municipal Political and Legal Affairs Committee, stated that this meeting is of great significance for deepening mutual cooperation between the Mainland, Hong Kong, and Macau. Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Macau, and other sister cities must join hands together to build an internationally first-class bay area and world-class urban agglomeration. He also expressed the hope that all delegates should work together to actively promote resource sharing, to jointly build a platform for innovation, and lead the Greater Bay Area in rule coordination, technological innovation, and other aspects, so as to cultivate more replicable and promotable experiences. This will make new and greater contributions to the integrated development of the Greater Bay Area, optimize China’s rule of law and modernized business environment.

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Mr. Liang Zhen, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Justice of Guangdong Province, mentioned in his speech that as international competition increasingly manifests as a dispute over institutional rules and laws, Guangdong, as China’s largest province in terms of foreign trade and openness, needs to take the lead in foreign-related legal reform. He said Hong Kong is a place where Eastern and Western cultures converge. It has a liberal economic system that closely aligns with international market and is well positioned in terms of internal and external links to play an important role.

Mr. Horace Cheung, Deputy Director of the Department of Justice, the government of the Hong Kong SAR mentioned in his speech at the Forum on the “Going Global” Cooperation and Development of Arbitration in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. The Department of Justice is actively seeking to expand the scope of application of the measures of “Hong Kong capital, Hong Kong law” and “Hong Kong capital, Hong Kong arbitration” to the entire Greater Bay Area. This will allow more Hong Kong-funded enterprises in the region, including foreign-funded enterprises established in Hong Kong, to choose Hong Kong law as the applicable law for civil and commercial contracts and select Hong Kong as the place of arbitration. This will increase the options for Hong Kong-funded enterprises in handling cross-border disputes and help build a market-oriented and internationalized business environment in the Greater Bay Area. The governments of Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Macau have been working hard to promote the formulation of unified standards for dispute resolution services, citing examples of establishing uniform standards in GBA mediators qualification, professional conduct, best practise and training. The measures in the Department of Justice’s “Action Plan for the Rule of Law Construction in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area” contribute to the development of the legal and dispute resolution aspects of the Greater Bay Area, enabling different arbitration and mediation institutions and industry professionals in the region to fully leverage their strengths, complement each other’s advantages, and achieve synergies and mutual benefits.

Justice Mr. Bokhary, a non-permanent judge of the Court of Final Appeal reflected on Hong Kong’s role in the development of alternative dispute resolution in the Greater Bay Area and its expansion within China and globally. He pointed out that Hong Kong has two natural advantages: geography and history. Geographically, Hong Kong provides a magnificent harbour that connects to the South China Sea and all major trade routes in the world. Additionally, it gives Hong Kong access to the Pearl River Delta and the broader China region. Historically, Hong Kong has cultivated a population with strong professional ethics and a dedicated work ethic. Hong Kong can participate in the development of the Greater Bay Area through various channels, large and small, to promote alternative dispute resolution in this region of China and ultimately to other parts of the world. He acknowledged that this is a challenging task and stated, “We will approach it with humility, recognizing the difficulty and significance of the mission, and with confidence in our collective efforts with friends.”

Organizing Units
Host Organization: Hong Kong Institute of Arbitrators
Co-organizers: Guangzhou Arbitration Commission and Nansha International Arbitration Centre
Supporting Organizations: Department of Justice The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Hong Kong Trade Development Council, AALCO Hong Kong Regional Arbitration Centre, The Law Society of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Bar Association, Intellectual Property Department, Joint Mediation Helpline Office, InteLaw GBA, Association of China-Appointed Attesting Officers Limited, International Online Dispute Resolution Centre, Hong Kong Mediation Centre.

Hashtag: #GreaterBayAreaArbitrationGoingGlobalCooperationDevelopmentForumTechnologyLeadingRulesIntegrationGuangdongHongKongMacauArbitrationAlliance #HKIARB

The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

About Hong Kong Institute of Arbitrators (HKIArb)

Hong Kong Institute of Arbitrators (HKIArb) is a Hong Kong company limited by guarantee established in September 1996. A group of Hong Kong professional people interested in arbitration, mediation and other kinds of dispute resolution got together to form Hong Kong’s own arbitration institute. It has charitable status and is non-profit making.

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