The HKIAC organised an event in Santiago, Chile on 19 June 2014, entitled: Focus on Asia-LatAm Trade – Managing Risk & Resolving Disputes, bringing together experienced practitioners from across the globe to discuss issues arising when negotiating commercial contracts between Asian and Latin American parties and how best to mitigate against risk by finding the right dispute resolution option.
The HKIAC representative for Latin America, Kiran Sanghera, opened the event by introducing the HKIAC in the Americas initiative, which aims to encourage a dialogue between Asian and Latin American professionals on dispute resolution and highlights to Latin American parties the suitability of HKIAC services and Hong Kong arbitration for Asia-LatAm disputes, given the growth in trade and investment between the two regions.
Alvaro Jana, partner at Chilean firm Bofill Mir & Alvarez Jana, and formerly Chile’s Vice Minister for Trade, delivered the keynote speech, emphasising the strength of Chile’s economy and its international reach, with a particular focus on the number of trade agreements Chile has entered into with Asian countries and the strong future of Chile-Asia trade relations. Alvaro stressed to the largely Chilean audience the importance of using arbitration and of exploring new arbitration centres suited to this emerging relationship, such as Hong Kong and the HKIAC.
Two panel sessions followed, the first, Negotiating with your Asian Counterparty & Finding the Right Dispute Resolution Option, took a question and answer format in which former in-house counsel, Michael Kelley, Spanish and Mandarin speaking Argentine lawyer, Silvia Karina Fiezzoni, and global co-head of arbitration, Joseph Tirado, shared their insights on the jurisdictions to accept and avoid in Asia, the peculiarities of arbitrating in Mainland China versus Hong Kong, the role of arb-med procedures, the importance of understanding cultural differences and tips on choosing language, applicable law and the seat of arbitration when dealing with an Asian counterparty.
The event closed with the second panel session panel, Maximising Chances of Recovery & Enforcing Arbitral Awards in Asia, moderated by Cristian Conejero Roos of the local Chilean firm Philippi, Yrarrázaval, Pulido & Brunner. The three overseas panellists (details below) provided an overview of the enforcement regimes as well as the practical considerations for enforcing foreign arbitral awards and maximising recovery in the two major Asian economies, China and India.
The event was hosted by the Arbitration and Mediation Centre of the Santiago Chamber of Commerce, and also supported by the Chile China Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Tourism. Members of the Chilean legal and business community were in attendance as well as the local media.
The event is part of a series of activities that the HKIAC is carrying out in Latin America as part of the HKIAC in the Americas initiative to promote a dialogue between Asian and Latin American parties on commercial dispute resolution.