Singapore Convention on Mediation to help attract FDI: Experts
Signing of the Singapore Convention on Mediation (SCM) by the Bangladesh government will help the South Asian country attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) , as foreign investors often prefer more amicable methods of commercial dispute resolution, such as mediation.
This was agreed by the experts participating at the 11th webinar of the Bangladesh International Arbitration Centre (BIAC) jointly organised with its partner organisation -- the London College of Legal Studies (South), the Affiliate Centre of the University of London, on Monday.
The webinar titled: ''Why Bangladesh should sign the Singapore Convention on Mediation?" was presided over by BIAC Chairman Mahbubur Rahman, who is also the President of International Chamber of Commerce-Bangladesh and participated by former Adviser to a Bangladesh Caretaker Government Abdul Muyeed Chowdhury, BIAC CEO Muhammad A. (Rumee) Ali and London College of Legal Studies South (LCLS South) Principal Abdul Hamid Chowdhury.
Moderated by Bangladesh Supreme Court Lawyer Barrister and LCLS (South) Laws Head Dr. Khaled Hamid Chowdhury, the webinar was also spoken by Bangladesh Ministry of Foreign Affairs Multilateral Economic Affairs Director General Md. Nazrul Islam, London ADR ODR International Founder and Chief Executive Barrister Rahim Shamji, ASAAN Dhaka Pricipal Consultant Shireen Scheik Mainuddin, Singapore LLC Chamber Mediator Panellist Anil Changaroth and Bangladesh Human Rights Expert Dr.Rana Md. Parvez Sattar.
The SCM, formally the UN Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation was adopted on December 20, 2018 and is an international agreement regarding the recognition of mediated settlements. The Convention has so far been signed by 53 states.
The speakers said the ongoing global catastrophe caused by COVID-19 pandemic had given rise to the exigency of signing the Convention by our Government on a priority basis.
Moreover, the SCM is purported to support international trade and it encourages the use of mediation when dealing with the resolution of cross border commercial disputes, the expert Panel of Discussants opined.
Speaking as a Panellist Abdul Muyeed Chowdhury explained the power of mediation and strongly recommended signing of the SCM by the Government of Bangladesh, in line with the New York Convention 1958 regarding Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards to which Bangladesh is a signatory.
"Had we been a signatory to the Singapore Convention on Mediation already, our RMG sector could be benefitted through mediation process during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis," Chowdhury opined.
He hoped that this webinar will facilitate decision making process for signing the SCM and lead Bangladesh to be a part of the global dispute resolution system.
In his closing remarks Mahbubur Rahman said that often arbitration is preferred over mediation to resolve international commercial disputes because of the expedited enforcement mechanism available under the New York Convention 1958.
Ratifying The SCM would mean that it would give teeth to Mediation in Bangladesh, Rahman opined. He hoped that through this webinar we can collectively explore on the needs for the SCM, its significance, legal issues surrounding mediated settlements, thecurrent issues of debates pertaining to the adoption of the Convention and the changes in domestic legislationthat would be necessary for the Convention to function efficiently.
The webinar was live streamed on Facebook pages and LinkedIn profiles of BIAC and LCLS (South). The daily Bonik Barta was the media partner of the event.