About Beihai Asia International Arbitration Centre (BAIAC)
The Beihai Asia International Arbitration Centre (BAIAC), Singapore, was launched on 8 August 2019. Established by Beihai Arbitration Commission which is headquartered in Beihai, Guangxi Province, the move represents the first-ever establishment of an international arbitration centre in Singapore by a Chinese arbitration commission.
Established in 2003, Beihai Arbitration Commission (BAC) has made significant contributions to the domestic arbitration scene in China. In 2019, BAC handled 88,415 cases with an aggregate value of RMB 9.2 billion, ranking second in China in terms of the number of cases handled. In 2020, BAC handled a total of 59,696 cases with an aggregate value of RMB 12.9 billion, ranking first in China in terms of the number of cases handled. In 2021, BAC handled 41,198 cases with an aggregate value of RMB 9.89 billion, ranking second in the country in terms of the number of cases handled. In the first half of 2022, Beihai arbitration handled a total of 19,471 cases, with an aggregate value of RMB 5.62 billion.
The impetus for establishing BAIAC in Singapore can be attributed to two primary factors. First, there is a need to provide lower-cost and more efficient international arbitration to small and medium-sized businesses involved in cross-border disputes, with a focus on Asian parties.
Second, Singapore is trusted as an international dispute resolution hub to serve the region for disputes arising from the Belt and Road Initiative, wider Asia trade cooperation, and commercial links between Chinese and ASEAN Plus Six parties. With Singapore's reputation as a leading international arbitration and mediation centre, the city-state continues to play a key role in facilitating dispute resolution involving parties from the region and beyond.
The BAIAC Arbitration Rules incorporate the well-established and credible UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules, eliminating the necessity to reinvent established principles. Despite this foundation, the BAIAC Arbitration Rules include unique features for small claims and expedited procedures, developed through extensive consultations with arbitral users and industry experts.
BAIAC intends to make international arbitration, makes sense. This may appear rudimentary, but in today's arbitration growth story, users/arbitrants have expressed concern that the way arbitrations are conducted these days is increasingly disconnected from reality, and that its providers are not listening to the needs of the users.
BAIAC was founded not to compete with existing, well-established international arbitration centres, but to fill unmet needs and contribute to the development of the current arbitration scene. Our key guiding principles are gender, geographic, generational, and general diversity. We believe in regional cooperation among players to keep arbitration and mediation accessible to all.
In order to meet the needs of low and medium-value disputes, our arbitration costs are lower, and we encourage cases to be resolved as quickly as possible. Our arbitration rules are based on the UNCITRAL Rules of Arbitration, with changes to accommodate small claims and expedited procedures. Such features are appealing to the region's small and medium-sized businesses that want to use arbitration as their primary commercial dispute resolution method.
Finally, because BAIAC is based in Singapore, its goals are consistent with the city-position state's as a leading international arbitration hub, which is supported by world-class infrastructure, a sterling judiciary supportive of international arbitration, a well-established arbitration "culture," and experience.