Publish time: 2021-9-9
On the afternoon of September 6 2021, the 1st China Legal Forum on International Trade in Services jointly hosted by Beijing Municipal Bureau of Justice, Beijing Arbitration Commission / Beijing International Arbitration Center (the “BAC”) and China Association of Trade in Services convened in the China National Convention Center.
Mr. Yang Wanming, Vice President of the Supreme People’s Court of the PRC, Dr. Xiong Xuanguo, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Justice of the PRC, Mr. Qi Yanjun, Vice Major of Beijing Municipal Government, were present at the event and delivered speeches. Ms. Anna Joubin-Bret, Secretary of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, addressed the Forum through video. Mr. Yin Hang, Deputy Secretary-General of Beijing Municipal Government, attended the Forum and moderated the opening ceremony. Ms. Cui Yang, Deputy Secretary of the Political and Legal Affairs Commission of Beijing Municipal Committee of the CPC, Mr. Jiang Jing, Level I Bureau Rank Official of Public Legal Services Administration of the Ministry of Justice of the PRC, Mr. Miao Lin, Party Secretary of Beijing Municipal Bureau of Justice, Dr. Li Fuying, Director-General of Beijing Municipal Bureau of Justice, attended the Forum. More than 100 professionals from governmental authorities and arbitration institutions, in-house counsels, lawyers and scholars, both domestic and abroad, participated in the event. The Forum was broadcast live bilingually in Chinese and English, which has attracted over 30 thousand viewers around the world.
As a section of 2021 China International Fair for Trade in Services, this Forum was themed “Openness and Development: Globalizing Trade in Services and Building Beijing into International Arbitration Hub”, focusing on the opening up of Chinese legal services, and aiming to facilitate the growth of Beijing as an international arbitration hub and assist with the high-quality development of this capital city.
Mr. Yin Hang, Deputy Secretary-General of Beijing Municipal Government
The Forum started with the video entitled “Build the Public Credibility”. The documentary images in the video revealed Beijing arbitration practitioners’ pioneering spirits in the promotion of structural reform of arbitration and the innovation of arbitration legal framework, providing legal safeguard to the development of Beijing municipality and the construction of “Two Zones”.
Mr. Qi Yanjun, Vice Major of the People’s Government of Beijing Municipality
In his speech, Mr. Qi Yanjun introduced Beijing’s advantages of developing legal services industry, and affirmed the BAC’s achievements ever since its establishment. He stressed that the construction of international arbitration hub is an important part of the “Two Zones” construction in Beijing, and the People’s Government of Beijing Municipality will always adhere to the ideas of reform, innovation and openness, constantly promote the openness of legal services industry, continuously improve the business environment of legal service industry, continuously promote the facilitation of cross-border payments and receipts for legal services and further deregulate relevant administrative review and approval procedures. With respect to arbitration, the People’s Government of Beijing Municipality will constantly promote the openness of arbitration industry, and provide more conveniences for renowned overseas arbitration institutions to set up their offices in the Beijing Pilot Free Trade Zone. Overseas arbitration institutions are welcome to set up offices in Beijing and benefit from the “Two Zones” construction.
Mr. Yang Wanming, Vice President of the Supreme People’s Court of the PRC
Mr. Yang Wanming reviewed a series of significant measures of the Supreme People’s Court for the purpose of providing legal safeguard to the “Two Zones” construction in Beijing, such as the establishment of International Commercial Court, the promulgation of Opinions on Providing Judicial Safeguard for Further Expanding the Opening-up of the Service Industry, the Opinions on Provision of Judicial Service and Guarantee by the People's Courts for the Development of the Beijing National Comprehensive Demonstration Zone for Expanding the Opening-up of the Service Industry and the China (Beijing) Pilot Free Trade Zone, the establishment of Beijing Financial Court, and the support to set up the Beijing One-stop Diversified Dispute Resolution Center for International Commercial Dispute at Beijing No. 4 Intermediate People’s Court.
He pointed out that what the Supreme People’s Court will do next to strengthen judicial services and safeguards for the “Two Zones” construction in Beijing include supporting the development of digital economy and assisting Beijing to build a pilot zone for digital economy, advancing the opening-up of services industry and safeguarding the construction of a comprehensive demonstration zone of services industry in Beijing, improving the international commercial dispute resolution mechanism and assisting Beijing to build an international commercial dispute resolution hub, strengthening the modernization construction of trial system and capacity for adjudicating foreign-related cases and fully playing Beijing’s leading role in international rule of law construction.
Dr. Xiong Xuanguo, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Justice of the PRC
Dr. Xiong Xuanguo highlighted that it is important to implement the spirit of the important instructions of CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping on arbitration, constantly improve the mechanism and public credibility of arbitration, focus on cultivating a number of world-class arbitration institutions, hance making the foreign-related legal protection and service work more effective. Since the implementation of the PRC Arbitration Law in 1995, China has set up more than 270 arbitration institutions, which handled more than 4 million cases, with a total disputed amount of RMB5,000 billion, involving parties from over 100 countries and regions. At present, the Ministry of Justice is promoting the revision of the PRC Arbitration Law, making efforts to improve the arbitration legal system with Chinese characteristics and in line with international standards, and speed up the construction of a more systematic and complete foreign-related legal system.
He emphasized that to build Beijing international arbitration hub, it is necessary to accurately benchmark the international advanced level, meet the needs of modern international economic and trade development, and further intensify the reform and opening-up of arbitration services. The BAC should give full play to the advantages of legal resources and strong ability in commercial services, build a highland for international commercial services, and start from policy support, institutional reform, talent cultivation and other aspects to effectively improve the level of international arbitration services, and continuously win the recognition of domestic and foreign commercial entities.
Ms. Anna Joubin-Bret, Secretary of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law
Ms. Anna Joubin-Bret congratulated the successful opening of this Forum. She reviewed the voices and contributions of Chinese arbitration institutions including the BAC in participating in the formulation of international rules, and shared the UNCITRAL’s efforts and plan in promoting the formulation of international trade rules.
Dr. Li Fuying, Director-General of Beijing Municipal Bureau of Justice
Dr. Li Fuying released “Several Measures to Reform and Improve the Development Environment of the Legal Services Industry”, which was jointly issued by Beijing Municipal Bureau of Justice and Beijing Municipal Commission of Development and Reform. The measures support the foreign exchange of legal services industry and promote the professional, high-end and international development of the industry from six aspects, including providing more convenient working residence and entry & exit services, facilitating cross-border revenue and expenditure of legal business, optimizing judicial administrative examination and approval services, building an international commercial arbitration city, supporting foreign-related legal service institutions to explore markets, and strengthening the training of foreign-related legal talents.
The first discussion session is centered on the theme of “Restructuring Rules for International Trade in Services and China's Solutions”. In this session, Prof. Dr. Shi Jingxia, author of the 2021 Annual Review on China's International Trade in Services, and professor of Law School of Renmin University of China, released the Annual Review. The Annual Review is a summary of the current legal system of international trade in services in China, providing a systematic introduction of the legal system of international trade in services under the WTO framework, an analysis of typical Chinese cases of trade in services disputes under the WTO framework, a review of rules on trade in services resulted from China’s negotiations for multilateral and bilateral treaties on free trade in services such as RCEP, CPTPP as well as China’s strategies and solutions. At the same time, the Annual Review looks forward to the development of China's legal service trade. According to the Annual Review, China should continue to make great efforts to promote the development of trade in services, on the one hand, comply with the domestic service-oriented consumption demand, on the other hand, better help China's high-level and institutional opening-up. From an international perspective, China should base on the actual needs of the development of the trade in services, promoting the coordination of multilateral, plurilateral and regional rules, constantly improve the global governance of service economy, and promote the inclusive growth of the world economy.
Thereafter, moderated by Dr. Wang Xuehua, Managing Partner of Beijing Huanzhong & Partners, Prof. Dr. Zhao Hong, Former Appellate Body Member and Chairperson of the WTO, Ms. Wang Rong, Chief Data Policies Expert of Tencent Research Institute, and Mr. Jia Qiaoyu, Deputy General Manager of Minerals Innovation Investment Co., Ltd., had a discussion on the 2021 Annual Review on China's International Trade in Services.
Prof. Dr. Zhao Hong believed that the hysteresis of rules has become the bottleneck for the development of international trade in services, and thus the government should pay close attention to improving domestic rules, and to influencing the rule-making process of international rules through domestic rules. Ms. Wang Rong introduced the recent trend and solutions of enlarged jurisdiction in rules on international digital services in various countries, and then analyzed how to promote relevant rules in the cross-border flow of data to ensure data security and meanwhile to encourage more convenient cross-border flow of data between market players. Mr. Jia Qiaoyu introduced the history of Chinese laws and rules on trade in services and his understanding of statistics and classification approaches of trade in services based on his working experience. In his view, trade in services has a close connection with the development of domestic service sector, and they should have mutual promotional ties with each other.
Dr. Wang Xuehua, Managing Partner of Beijing Huanzhong & Partners
Prof. Dr. Zhao Hong, Former Member and Chairperson of the WTO Appellate Body
Ms. Wang Rong, Chief Data Policies Expert of Tencent Research Institute
Mr. Jia Qiaoyu, Deputy General Manager of Minerals Innovation Investment Co., Ltd.
The second session of the panel discussion was themed “The Globalization of Dispute Resolution Services and the Growth of Beijing as International Arbitration Hub”. The session was moderated by Mr. Tao Jingzhou, BAC Arbitrator and Member of the International Commercial Expert Committee of the Supreme People's Court. Dr. Chen Fuyong, Deputy Secretary General of the BAC, Ms. Kristin Campbell-Wilson, Secretary General of the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Yang Ling, Deputy Secretary-General of Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre and Chief Representative of the Shanghai Office, Dr. Huang Zhijin, Director of the International Chamber of Commerce Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution Office (North Asia), Chief Representative of the International Chamber of Commerce Shanghai Office, Dr. Ranse Howell, Director of International Operations at Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services (JAMS), Mr. Zhang Cunyuan, Chief Representative (China) of Singapore International Arbitration Centre, and Dr. Alice Fremuth-Wolf, Secretary-General of Vienna International Arbitral Centre, participated in the discussion.
Mr. Tao Jingzhou, BAC Arbitrator and Member of the International Commercial Expert Committee of the Supreme People's Court
Dr. Chen Fuyong, Deputy Secretary General of the BAC
Dr. Chen Fuyong provided a review of status quo of Beijing’s development as an international arbitration hub from aspects of the seat of arbitration, international arbitration hub and arbitration institutions. He believed that in the context of changing times, the arbitration industry should be proactive, establish a platform and increase mutual trust, promote mutual understanding and exchange ideas, jointly maintain the order of global economy and trade, and thereby to make arbitration the common language for global cooperation.
Ms. Kristin Campbell-Wilson, Secretary General of the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce
Ms. Kristin Campbell-Wilson presented an introduction of the three important opportunities of the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce during its development, as well as the institutional innovations of the Arbitration Institute such as expedited arbitration and emergency arbitrator. She believed that constant institutional innovation and digitized case administrative system could promote efficient and cost-effective dispute resolution.
Dr. Alice Fremuth-Wolf, Secretary-General of Vienna International Arbitration Centre
Dr. Alice Fremuth-Wolf introduced joinder of third parties under the Vienna International Arbitration Centre Arbitration Rules. She stated that well-equipped facilities, good legal environment, supportive policies from local government and independence of domestic arbitration institution constitute key factors for a city to become international arbitration hub.
Dr. Yang Ling, Deputy Secretary-General of Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre and Chief Representative of the Shanghai Office
Dr. Yang Ling believed that arbitration is the most direct, efficient and cost-effective way to promote a city’s internationalization and rule of law. She pointed out that arbitration institutions should well act as service providers, offering the parties with impartial and professional dispute resolution services. Apart from that, she stated that logistical supports such as convenient transportation, free exit of personnel and good infrastructures are also important foundation to build a city into international arbitration hub.
Dr. Huang Zhijin, Director of the International Chamber of Commerce Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution Office (North Asia), Chief Representative of the International Chamber of Commerce Shanghai Office
Dr. Huang Zhijin thought that the construction of international arbitration hub would upgrade the whole industrial chain, which is helpful to improve the business environment and produce more attractiveness and international discourse power for the region where the international arbitration hub is located. During the process of building an international arbitration hub, the government and the arbitration industry should have mutual trust and resource sharing.
Dr. Ranse Howell, Director of International Operations at Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services (JAMS)
Dr. Ranse Howell emphasized that when facing new situations, the dispute resolution industry should positively make use of new technologies such as information technology and blockchain technology, so as to provide more flexible and diversified legal services to the parties.
Mr. Zhang Cunyuan, Chief Representative (China) of Singapore International Arbitration Centre
Mr. Zhang Cunyuan shared Singapore’s experience in building its international arbitration hub. He thought that the essential conditions for building an international arbitration hub include an internationalized arbitration institution, well-equipped hearing facilities, an open legal service market, convenient and friendly policy environment and high quality internationalized talents. He suggested that the government should further its opening-up policy, clarify the ambiguities in its policies, and give its open mind and pro-arbitration in full play.
Mr. Zhang Wei, Chief Expert of China Association of Trade in Services
Following the panel discussion, Mr. Zhang Wei, Chief Expert of China Association of Trade in Services, delivered closing remarks. He spoke highly of the Forum, and pointed out that this is the first time for the trade in services community to have discussion on the role of law in trade in services in a high-quality event such as China International Fair for Trade in Services, which has produced important demonstration effect and pioneering significance. For the service industry, especially legal service industry represented by arbitration, attentions should be paid to its improvement of the business environment and its driving effect on other relevant industries rather than its value purely by economic indicators. At last, he looked forward to continuous in-depth cooperation of Beijing Municipal Bureau of Justice, the BAC and China Association of Trade in Services based on this platform, as well as their joint contribution to the development of China international trade in services.
Arbitration is in inherently international. The Chinese arbitration industry is now under competitive pressures from foreign colleagues. But meanwhile, Chinese arbitration practitioners and their foreign colleagues share the common long-range goal and mission to promote the prosperity of world economy with the development of international arbitration.
The BAC sincerely expects to work with professionals of various industries to make its contribution to building Beijing into an international arbitration hub based on the fillip of Beijing’s “Two-zones” construction.
Click “Read more” to replay the Forum.
Links of media reports:
2. CCTV.com: [On China International Fair for Trade in Services] Legal Forum Held in China International Fair for Trade in Services for the first time, Aiming to Promote the Construction of Beijing International Arbitration Hub