Macau | Symposium explores arbitration possibilities for MSAR

Legislation symposium analyses arbitration opportunities for MSAR Government

Macau (MNA) – The Macau SAR (MSAR) Government will undertake the creation of the corresponding legislation in order to improve local capabilities regarding arbitration and conciliation systems, Liu Dexue, Director of the Legal Bureau Affairs of the MSAR, said in his opening speech of the Macao International Legal Symposium on Promoting Economic and Trade Co-operation between China and Lusophone Countries on Wednesday.

“This symposium provides a good opportunity and is beneficial to know about conciliation and arbitration or a system for effective resolution of commercial disputes in Mainland China and in the Portuguese-speaking countries,” Liu said, adding that the experiences learnt from this symposium “will be an important reference for the review work” of local arbitration and conciliation system.

Xu Yingzhen, Secretary-General of the Permanent Secretariat of the Forum for Economic and Trade Co-operation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries (Macao), also participated in the opening ceremony with a speech highlighting the increasing importance of the MSAR in the Chinese ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative and indicating that legislation is an essential tool safeguarding investors’ interests.

She also remarked that the “lack of knowledge regarding local legislation” is one of the main hurdles to trade. Ms. Xu said judicial co-ordination has always been important to the Forum.

José Angelo Estrella Faria, Senior Legal Officer and Head of the Technical Assistance Section, International Trade Law Division of the Office of Legal Affairs of the United Nations, said in another speech in the opening that “arbitration is an indispensable instrument for international trade.” He pictured the evolution and situation of international arbitration and showed its increasing importance in current business and trade environments.

The opening speeches were closed by the presentation of the Minister of Justice of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, Maria Ângela Guterres Viegas Carrascalāo, citing Timor-Leste as an example of arbitration and co-existence of two legal frameworks: the traditional dispute resolution system, and the national constitution, that takes the former one into consideration.

Sessions after the opening showcased the experiences of different countries regarding arbitration.

Fernando Dias Simões, Associate Professor of the Faculty of Law of the University of Macau, enumerated challenges and prospects in the arbitration market for the territory. He said Singapore and Hong Kong were examples of dispute resolution legal frameworks which had been adapted to improve their roles as financial hubs.

Mr. Dias remarked that the competition to gain a position in the arbitration market is “fierce” thus a comprehensive approach is needed to consolidate such a role. Exclusive facilities and full-time professionals, together with translation services, are key to reaching a relevant role in the dispute resolution market.