SINGAPORE – Beihai Asia International Arbitration Centre (BAIAC) was inaugurated on 8 August 2019 witnessed by guests from Singapore and overseas which included China, Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand and Indonesia.
In attendence were His Excellency Joseph Del Mar Yap, Ambassador of the Republic of Philippines to Singapore, Mr Duan Chongbo, Secretary (Economic and Commercial), Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Singapore, Dr Aria Wibisono, Counsellor for Economic Trade, Embassy of Indonesia in Singapore, His Honour Justice Dato Dr Hamid Sultan, Court of Appeal, Federal Court of Malaysia and Ms Chua Xin Juan, Director of the Professional Services Programme Office, Ministry of Law, Singapore.
In the inauguration speech, founding President of BAIAC, Professor Steve Ngo remarked that Beihai is not unfamiliar to Singapore whereby the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew visited the city 26 years ago in 1993 and was reported by the Straits Times commenting that he was impressed with Beihai’s potential for tourism and trade development, including the harbour. BAIAC is the first international arbitration centre established in Singapore by a Chinese arbitration commission, tapping into China-ASEAN-Singapore connections, which is very much in line with the aspiration of regional people-to-people exchanges for the futherance of arbitration and dispute resolution initiatives. The impetus for the establishment of BAIAC can be attributed to two core factors; costs and enhanced regional dispute resolution efforts.
Mr Zhong Hong, Chairman of Beihai Arbitration Commission in his speech mentioned that in 2018 Beihai Arbitration Commission recorded 58,869 cases with a cumulative value of RMB 10 billion. For the first-half of 2019, over 47,000 cases in China have been recorded. He expressed his optimism for the establishment of Beihai’s international centre in Singapore as the city state is already a renown international arbitration venue.
During the inauguration, the founding Committee members of BAIAC were announced, comprising of leading arbitration practitioners from China, South East Asia, East Asia and South Asia. Specifically, BAIAC would like to promote generational, gender and geographical diversity through its Committee members and arbitrators.