15 July 2017

Arbitration court gains investor trust

The increasingly important role an arbitration court plays in facilitating trade and investment was highlighted at a seminar jointly held by Vietnamese and South Korean legal entities in Ha Noi on Thursday.— Photo voh.com.vn

The increasingly important role an arbitration court plays in facilitating trade and investment was highlighted at a seminar jointly held by Vietnamese and South Korean legal entities in Ha Noi on Thursday.

The seminar was titled ‘A Strategic Approach to International Arbitration in Viet Nam and Korea: Commerce, Investment and Infrastructure.’

It focused on practical topics of common interest for both countries, including arbitration related to infrastructure projects, and recent developments in both nations’ arbitration frameworks.

Participants studied international disputes that both the Republic of Korea (RoK) and Viet Nam have faced, as well as methods for foreign investors to make claims regarding international infrastructure disputes in Viet Nam.

Vu Anh Duong, Secretary General of the Vietnam International Arbitration Centre (VIAC), said that as a stable country with high economic growth, Viet Nam was becoming an attractive investment for foreign investors.

In such a setting, the demand for new methods of dispute settlement in business is rising, given the large sums involved and the complex nature of disagreements.

In fact, there is urgent need for a strong, transparent and accessible set of legal frameworks, including the arbitration court, in order to protect and support the rights of businesses, both local and foreign, he said.

This need has to be met if the country wants to continue win investors’ trust and funding, Duong said.

Building on its success last year, the seminar created an opportunity to discuss and learn from current issues on international infrastructure disputes.

The opinions and analyses offered by expert professionals would benefit both Vietnamese and South Korean firms, organisers said.

Ji Sung-Bae, President of the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board (KCAB), said that RoK was the largest foreign investor in Viet Nam with businesses investing a total of US$15 billion in the country, and the prospects of this increasing further were bright.

As business opportunities increase, so do legal disputes, and an arbitration court was one of the most effective means of settlement recommended by experts, he said.

Shin Hi-Teak, Chairman of the Seoul International Dispute Resolution Center (SIDRC), said that his institution hopes to collaborate and help Vietnamese arbitration courts in solving any legal dispute that may arise between businesses of both countries and other countries in the future.

Le Hong Hanh, Chairman of the VIAC’s Legal Science Council, said that at present, the legal framework for arbitration in Viet Nam relied on several important documents like the Ordinance on Commercial Arbitration in 2003, the Law on Commercial Arbitration in 2010 and the 22/2017/ND-CP Decree on Commercial Mediation in 2017.

This showed gradual improvement in the legal framework department, with notable changes like the removal of the requirement on arbitrators’ nationality and more detailed descriptions of the civil court’s role in supporting the arbitration court’s decisions.

Hanh also commented that the VIAC has noted the rising number of cases successfully resolved by the arbitration court in Viet Nam.

Right now the country has 18 arbitration centres with the VIAC acting as the most renowned and reliable entity among them.

However, the VIAC has also found that since many business entities in Viet Nam are small and medium sized, they tend to approach the civil court instead of an arbitration court, and this has hindered the growth of this commercial mediation method.

Kim Byoung-Pil, Partner at Bae, Kim and Lee LLC, said that in the next 10 years, Viet Nam will be walking the same development path as the RoK once did.

He said advised businesses trying to have their disputes settled by the arbitration court should provide the court and lawyer with professionally gathered data and hire trained experts to advice and represent them. He hoped that such professionalism would become a rising trend in Viet Nam.

Do Trong Hai, Managing Partner at Bizlink Lawyers, said that the main sources of disputes were mistakes in the contracts, parties’ failure to uphold their part of the contract, ineffective project management, and payment failure.

The seminar was jointly organised by the KCAB, the VIAC, and the IDRC. — VNS



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