Hong Kong has greater arbitration hub potential

Hong Kong has the potential to become an even more attractive international hub for arbitration in the Far East if it develops a more global strategy and embraces foreign investment, according to Edward Yang Liu, Hill Dickinson counsel in Hong Kong.

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Hong Kong has its own unique advantages and favourable conditions and can provide convenient, neutral and diversified legal and dispute resolution services for international businesses.

In particular, Hong Kong benefits from being the only Chinese jurisdiction which practices common law and adopts a common law system familiar to the international business sector. Hong Kong also possesses a strong professional legal community (including approximately 1,500 registered foreign lawyers from different jurisdictions)  whose members have extensive experience in resolving commercial disputes in international commerce, intellectual property and shipping.

Speaking at the International Maritime Law Conference in Shanghai today (30 October), Mr Liu urged Hong Kong to “utilise its uniqueness” and make full use of the Belt and Road initiative in order to expand is arbitration sector.

“Arbitration has long been welcomed by commercial industries for its distinct advantages of finality, simplicity, flexibility and confidentiality,” he said. “Hong Kong is a popular seat for arbitration due to it being a common law jurisdiction and its incorporation of clauses and ideas in both of the UNCITRAL Model Law and the English Arbitration Act 1996 to ensure international recognition and reinforcement of its global status as an international legal hub.”

Acknowledging the fact that Hong Kong’s popularity seems to have dwindled a little in recent years he added that: “Hong Kong should address any technical and commercial problems under its existing arbitration regime and utilise opportunities under the Belt and Road Initiative and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area Plan in order to expand its arbitration sector.”