HKIAC-HKMC to Provide Mediation Services for Investment Disputes
The Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (“HKIAC”)’s Hong Kong Mediation Council (“HKMC”) is pleased to be designated as a mediation institution to administer disputes between a Mainland Chinese investor and the Government of Hong Kong pursuant to the Investment Agreement under the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (the “Investment Agreement”).
The Investment Agreement was entered into on 28 June 2017 and has been implemented since 1 January 2018. It seeks to protect and promote investment between Mainland China and Hong Kong and provides for, among other things, substantive obligations of both sides to protect qualified investors and covered investments, including fair and equitable treatment, full protection and security, national treatment, most-favoured treatment and lawful expropriation.
The Investment Agreement includes multiple mechanisms for settling disputes between an investor and the host government. One of those mechanisms is mediation at the place of investment whereby an investor may submit an investment dispute arising from the Agreement to a mediation institution that has previously been designated by the host government and agreed to by the other government.
The Government of Hong Kong has designated HKIAC-HKMC as one of the two mediation institutions to administer disputes between a Mainland Chinese investor and the relevant authorities or institutions of Hong Kong under the Investment Agreement for an initial period of two years commencing 14 December 2018. HKIAC-HKMC will, among other things, facilitate the appointment of mediators from a list of designated mediators and assist mediators in conducting mediations pursuant to a set of mediation rules produced by the Department of Justice of Hong Kong.
Christopher To, Chairperson of HKMC, says “the inclusion of a mediation mechanism in the Investment Agreement recognises the use of mediation as an effective option for settling investment [SG4] disputes. I am pleased that HKIAC-HKMC has been designated for handling such disputes between a Mainland investor and the Hong Kong Government. This is a vote of confidence in our expertise and experience in this area.”
HKIAC-HKMC is designated at a time when HKIAC is emerging as a preferred institution for the administration of investment treaty disputes. HKIAC is currently administering two investment treaty arbitrations under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules. One of the arbitrations is seated in Hong Kong and the other is seated outside of Hong Kong.
The Centre has decades of experience in UNCITRAL Rules arbitration and significant expertise in its legal staff and members of its decision-making bodies in respect of investment treaty arbitration. HKIAC’s legal counsel are available to act as tribunal secretary in such arbitrations. HKIAC also provides its premier hearing facilities free-of-charge in cases in which at least one party is a State listed on the OECD List of ODA assistance and HKIAC provides administrative support.
Sarah Grimmer, Secretary-General of HKIAC, says “HKIAC takes pride in its experience and offerings in investment treaty arbitration and looks forward to supporting mediations under the Investment Agreement”.
Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre
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