HKIAC SIGNS MOU WITH THE RUSSIAN ARBITRATION ASSOCIATION
The Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) is pleased to announce that it has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Russian Arbitration Association (RAA). The signing ceremony took place on 18 May 2016 at an event held by the Law Society of Hong Kong at the 2016 St Petersburg International Legal Forum.
Vladimir Khvalei, RAA’s Chairman sees great potential with the cooperation agreement. “In view of recent developments more and more Russian companies are expanding to Asia. We also see a growing presence of Chinese companies in Russia. Thus, Hong Kong as a place of arbitration and HKIAC as administering institution with no doubts will significantly contribute to the facilitation of the Russian-Asian businesses.”
Teresa Cheng SC, Chairperson of HKIAC who was in St Petersburg on this occasion agrees that “the MOU marks an important milestone of strengthening ties between Hong Kong and Russia. Given both our centres are in significant periods of growth in very different parts of the world, I am confident that this collaboration would inspire more joint innovative activities between the two institutions”.
“Being an advocate of diversity I truly praise the rise of new arbitration centers, such as HKIAC, which increase competition and consequently the accessibility and quality of services offered to the arbitration users” says Roman Zykov, Secretary General of RAA.
The signing of the MOU could not be more timely. Triggered by Asia’s leading role in the recovery of the global economic crisis, Russian commercial activities mirror the general shift in the economic balance from West to East. And Hong Kong, as an independently governed region of China, has an unsurpassed reputation for being the gateway to some of the world’s fastest growing economies and serves as Asia’s commercial, financial and trading hub. Finance and securities transactions are seeing similar growth, with Russian securities now permitted to list on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Similar investments and developments can be seen across the region and, importantly, they are taking place in both directions. To enhance its trade relationship with Russia, Hong Kong recently signed an agreement for the avoidance of double taxation, which aims at lowering tax rates on cross-border transactions and provides incentives for companies in Russia to do business or invest in Hong Kong or vice-versa. Speaking at the Asian Financial Forum (AFF) in Hong Kong earlier this year, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkadiy Dvorkovich said, “We [Russia] are committed to expanding and advancing co-operation between Hong Kong and Russia”.
Against this backdrop, HKIAC has also implemented a number of initiatives to appeal to its Russian users. For example, HKIAC has recently expanded its pool of Russian-qualified arbitrators, translated its 2013 Administered Arbitration Rules into Russian, hired Russian-speaking staff members and made available Russian speaking tribunal secretaries, transcribers and translators in appropriate cases. “The needs of disputing parties are ever-changing. Collaborating with RAA will help the two institutions to serve companies who want a seamless platform for dispute resolution - both practically and culturally” says Chiann Bao, Secretary General of HKIAC.
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