New structure and focus announced for ICC Belt and Road Commission
ICC has announced changes to the constitution of the ICC Belt and Road Commission aiming to focus on the full range of Belt and Road dispute resolution related issues, particularly relating to China. The announcement was made by President of the ICC International Court of Arbitration Claudia Salomon during the ICC Asia-Pacific Conference on International Arbitration.
Under a strategic transformation, the new ICC Belt and Road Commission now comprises one chair, three vice-chairs, five commissioners and 18 members. With a deep understanding of how to resolve disputes arising along the Belt and Road, the commission will focus on significant commercial interests, especially Chinese parties, engaged in investment and trade along the Belt and Road. The commission aims to raise awareness and build on ICC’s reputation as a globally trusted dispute resolution provider to become the trusted “go-to” dispute resolution service provider for Belt and Road disputes.
To ensure coverage of all sectors of commercial activity and industry sectors, half of the new commission members are general or in-house counsel. The commission now covers the essential industries engaged in Belt and Road investment, including Auto, Agricultural, Aviation, Construction, Chemical, Heavy Equipment, Infrastructure, Investment Bank, Transportation, Petroleum, Gas and Services. Members are from state-owned enterprises, private enterprises, multinational enterprises, academia, and include renowned arbitration practitioners from leading law firms.
Tengqun Yu, Vice-President and General Counsel, China Railway Group Limited, takes the reins from Susan L. Munro as Chair of the commission while Robert S. Pe becomes commission Chair. Mr Yu will lead a new line up of representatives for the commission, to best reflect the critical needs of the commercial community, including in China, involved in investment and trade along the Belt and Road.
The three commission vice-chairs are:
- Ning Fei, Managing Partner, Hui Zhong Law Firm;
- Ran Zhang, General Counsel of Hilong Group of Companies; and
- Yangyang (William) Zhang, General Counsel of Ford Motor (China) Ltd
Commenting on the contributions of Ms Munro and Mr Pe to the achievements of the ICC Belt and Road Commission, Ms Salomon said:
“We are immensely indebted to Susan and Robert and their colleagues on the commission for their contributions to make the commission an important platform to actively promote ICC dispute resolution services. In 2021, more than 25% of parties in ICC Arbitration came from Asia-Pacific, and Chinese parties were the eighth most frequent nationality among the parties in ICC Arbitration, due in large part to the commission’s efforts under Susan and Robert’s chairmanship.
“As the world’s preferred arbitral institution, with almost 100 years of experience administering international arbitration cases, ICC is ideally suited to be the go-to forum for the resolution of disputes arising out of the Belt and Road Initiative.”
ICC Belt and Road Commission Chair Tengqun Yu said:
“The establishment of the ICC Belt and Road Commission in 2018 demonstrates ICC’s sharp insights about the latest developments regarding the world economy, new platforms for international trade and investment and modern governance of the global economy.
“I hope the ICC Belt and Road Commission can increase the awareness of ICC Arbitration and its other dispute resolution services and consolidate the wide-ranging consensus to provide high-quality and efficient dispute resolution services to the global businesses involved in the Belt and Road Initiative. Working with the business community engaged in the Belt and Road Initiative, we will make positive contributions by promoting ‘hard connectivity’ of infrastructure, ‘soft connectivity’ of rules and standards, as well as ‘people-to-people connectivity’ to actively resolve disputes, achieving the high-quality development of the Belt and Road Initiative and boosting the prosperity of world business and peaceful development.”
Alexander G. Fessas, Secretary General of the ICC Court also welcomed the appointment of the newly constituted commission, saying he was confident that it will continue providing significant assistance to the work of ICC Dispute Resolution Services in the region:
“I thank Susan and Robert for their generous contributions to the ICC Belt and Road Commission. I am sure Mr Yu will continue the excellent leadership to guide the commission, which has greatly benefited our work.”
Given the impact of Chinese investments in Africa, the Belt and Road Commission will continue to work in tandem with the ICC Africa Commission which also launched in 2018, to drive the development of ICC’s existing procedures and infrastructure to support Belt and Road disputes.
Zhijin (Donna) Huang, ICC Director for Arbitration and ADR, North Asia, will act as the Secretary of the Belt and Road Commission.
View the full list of ICC Belt and Road Commission Chair and Vice Chairs, Commissioners and Members.
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