Singapore, China sign MOU for Belt and Road Initiative dispute mediation

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Singapore International Mediation Centre board member Ng Chai Ngee (left, seated) and China Council for the Promotion of International Trade Commercial Legal Services Center director-general Li Jianning signing the MOU. (Photo: Ministry of Law)

(Updated: )

China’s Belt and Road Initiative aims to facilitate trade and investment between China and other countries through infrastructure investment.

Under Tuesday’s agreement, the two centres will serve Singapore and Chinese companies investing in either country as well as companies investing in other markets under the initiative, Singapore’s Ministry of Law and the Singapore International Mediation Centre said in a joint statement.

They will promote international commercial mediation through lectures and conferences and also encourage the use of each other’s mediators and services. The two will also recommend the use of mediation facilities at Maxwell Chambers in Singapore and the China Chamber of International Commerce building in Beijing.

The agreement was signed at the International Mediation Summit in Hangzhou, China.

Speaking at the summit’s opening ceremony, Deputy Secretary of Singapore’s Ministry of Law Han Kok Juan said that Tuesday’s agreement was a “building block” towards a framework for resolving disputes that may arise under the Belt and Road Initiative based on rule of law.

He said that as the initiative “involves high value, long-term, cross-border investments”, such a framework can help build “trust and confidence” among investors and governments.

The agreement comes four days after Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said that Singapore could work with China to play the role of a “useful pathfinder” for the country as its aspirations grow overseas.

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