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25 July 2017 at 12:18 BST

Permanent Court of Arbitration to open first Asian office

The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) is to open an office in Singapore - the first in Asia and only the second one outside its headquarters in The Hague.

The news came from the Ministry of Law and the PCA today in a joint annoucement stating that it would serve the dispute resolution needs of states and businesses in Asia. The PCA office is set to spring into action within the next six months and open at the start of 2018. At least seven PCA cases are expected in the country this year  - up significantly from four in 2015. 

Augment Singapore's position

‘The setting up of the PCA office will further augment Singapore's position as an international hub for dispute resolution, particularly in the new area of investment dispute resolution,’ said Senior Minister of State for Law and Finance Indranee Rajah. ‘Many treaties and investment agreements designate the PCA as the appointing authority for arbitrators.’

Singapore - gone from 'strength to strength'

PCA Secretary-General Hugo H Siblesz highlighted that Singapore had gone ‘from strength to strength’ as a global hub for international dispute settlement. She added that the country had great opportunities in the secot and that as the world’s ‘economic centre of gravity’shifted to Asia, the ‘centre of gravity for legal activities will follow’, according to reports in Channel News Asia.

Asian legal services growth outpacing the global

The statistics reveal that Asian legal services are on a roll. While global legal services are projected to grow at 3.3 per cent between 2014 and 2019 the rate is significantly higher in Asia Pacific at 5.5 per cent. ‘This 2.2 percentage point difference is compounded every year ... Any major player planning long-term cannot afford to ignore Asia,’ explained Ms Indranee. She added that Singapore was well placed to capitalise on this growth. ‘We have a trusted legal system. It not only delivers high quality jurisprudence, but one that is neutral and stable.’

Latest move

The PCA move to set up shop in Singapore follows an annoucement from the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce that it is to set up a case management office in the first quarter of 2018.

 
   
 
 
 

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