Shanghai inauguration marks ramped up ICC presence in Asia
The International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) celebrated the inauguration of its Shanghai Representative Office on 8 June 2016 with a launch ceremony and conference bringing together close to 140 governmental officials, lawyers, in-house counsels and academics.
Thanking the Shanghai Municipal Government for the support it had provided to help ICC to establish a presence in Shanghai, ICC Court President Alexis Mourre expressed his hope that the office would better enable ICC to contribute its professional capabilities and experiences to the development of Shanghai’s international arbitration community.
Yibo Xu, Vice-Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Shanghai Committee welcomed ICC saying he hoped the new representative office would contribute to an improved international business environment for Shanghai.
Mr Mourre was joined by Weihua Shen, Vice-Chairman of the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce, Qixing Lu, Vice-Chairman of the Pudong Commission of Commerce of Shanghai and Hong Shi, Alternative Court Member of the ICC Court to officially inaugurate the office.
Xiaolong Lu, Senior Justice of the 4th Division of the Supreme People’s Court of China, Leiming Sheng, Vice-President of the All China Lawyers Association (China Bar Association), Jianjun Guan, Vice-President of the Shanghai Bar Association, Smith Hanscom, Consul General of the US Consulate General in Shanghai and Martin Laurant, Commercial Counselor of France Consulate General in Shanghai were also in attendance.
The ceremony marked the opening of a half-day launch conference entitled “Better Dispute Resolutions, Better International Business” during which Mr Mourre and Ms Shi were joined by Cheng Yee Khong, ICC Director of Arbitration and ADR for Hong Kong joined for a panel session which shed light on the work of the ICC Court and how it ensures world class standards of its arbitration services.
A second session featured panelists Philip Yang, an independent international arbitrator from Hong Kong, Mark Mangan, a partner at Dechert LLP, Wantao Yang, a partner at Zhonglun Law Firm and Mingchao Fan, ICC Director of Arbitration and ADR for North Asia who discussed, in the context of ICC Arbitration, how better dispute resolution can help to improve a city’s business environment.
Prior to the Shanghai launch, more than 150 participants converged in Beijing on 7 June for a one-day conference on the theme of international arbitration without frontiers. The event, organized jointly by the International Chamber of Commerce and the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC), examined what efforts were underway to create an environment for international arbitration without frontiers and how such efforts have benefitted disputing parties in China and beyond. Discussion were led by experienced arbitrators and lawyer, and included focus on of the internationalization of arbitration institutions, the internalization of arbitration services in China, cross-fertilization of Chinese and international experiences, and a judicial perspective on international arbitration in China.
New ICC statistics reveal a more than 12% rise in the number of Chinese parties involved in ICC Arbitration cases filed in 2015 compared with 2014.
Building on ties with the Chinese authorities, ICC’s presence in the region will help to leverage the growth in demand for ICC’s first-rate services from users of arbitration not only in China but across the entire region.