Article contributed by Rajeswari Gunarasa, Officer, Arbitration Subcommittee, and photos by Florence Laway, Senior Administrative Assistant, Bar Council
On 14 Dec 2016, a delegation from the Hainan Arbitration Commission and the Hainan Bar paid a visit to the Bar Council. The delegation was received by representatives of the Arbitration Subcommittee: Chairperson Nitin Nadkarni, and committee members Choon Hon Leng and GK Ganesan.
The objectives of the visit were to explore how to promote and develop arbitration in China and Malaysia, and the Bar Council’s role in this process. The discussion also centred on how both countries could benefit by sharing knowledge, services, and resources.
The representatives from the Hainan Arbitration Commission observed that as the result of the recent deluge of mutual investments and trading between both countries, many Chinese companies operate within Malaysia, and investments running into billions of US dollars are being pumped into Malaysia by Chinese business entities. They stated that these Chinese corporations are unfamiliar with the local legal system, and therefore need legal services to protect their business and private interests. They expressed the hope of bridging the gap between Chinese users and Malaysian providers of legal services.
The representatives of the Arbitration Subcommittee welcomed the collaboration and felt that Malaysia ought to develop a legal structure to cater to these international needs. Suggestions were also put forward for both parties to draft guidelines for Malaysian businesspersons and companies operating within China to obtain effective legal services.
The Arbitration Subcommittee said it would recommend to the Bar Council possible steps to take in order to achieve the objectives.
The delegation volunteered to organise a conference in Malaysia in 2017, with the hope of attracting participation by Members of the Malaysian Bar as well as the commercial sector.
This visit was a follow-up to an earlier one by the China ASEAN Legal Cooperation Centre and the Hainan Arbitration Commission, on 17 June 2016.