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New international arbitration centre opens in Singapore

Out-Law News | 19 Aug 2019 | 3:57 pm | 1 min. read

A new international arbitration centre has opened in Singapore and will focus on small and medium-sized cross-border disputes. The centre is backed by a Chinese arbitration organisation.

The Beihai Asia international arbitration centre (BAIAC) will aim to be a low cost, efficient option for smaller disputes according to the body behind it, the Beihai Arbitration Commission (BAC).

The BAIAC will use the 2013 United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) rules with some modifications. This includes a small claims procedure for a speedier and more economical way to address small value disputes.

The Straits Times said that a China-ASEAN panel of arbitrators will also be established in BAIAC, which was set up by the  Guangxi province, China-based BAC.

According to BAC small and medium-sized commercial disputes are common in cross-border commercial transactions, and there is a growing demand for low-cost and efficient international arbitration. Singapore is seen as a good place for arbitration and mediation because of the continuing development of economic relations with China.

BAC vice-chairman Zhu Jifan said: "As part of the BAC's continuous expansion into Asean, it has chosen Singapore as its first port of call because of Singapore's position as the legal and financial hub of South-east Asia."

Singaporean arbitration practitioner professor Steve Ngo has been appointed as the centre’s president.

BAC was founded in 2003 and has set up hearing centres in 29 Chinese cities to provide domestic arbitration services.

Earlier this month 46 countries signed the Singapore Convention on Mediation. This international mediation treaty will offer easier and more efficient enforcement of settlements achieved through mediations conducted in foreign jurisdictions.