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Hainan FTP: Further opening up to overseas arbitration agencies

South China’s Hainan Province has recently published a development plan to further open up to international arbitration, allowing overseas arbitration institutions and dispute resolution agencies to operate in the province.

Located in the Haikou Dayingshan Central Business District, the Window to Global Trade (WGT) plays a key role in attracting foreign investment in Hainan province. (Photo / Hainan Daily)


Starting from April 1, overseas arbitration institutions - after registering with the Department of Justice of Hainan Province and the country’s Ministry of Justice - may open branches and conduct civil and commercial dispute business concerning foreign affairs in the fields of maritime affairs, intellectual property, and investment in the Hainan Free Trade Port.


According to the plan, the pilot work of building an international commercial arbitration center to solve commercial disputes around the Pacific and the Indian Ocean will be basically completed by the end of 2025, and the high-level, globally influential Hainan Free Trade Port International Commercial Arbitration Center will be established by the end of 2035.


In order to further the development of the Hainan FTP, related commercial arbitration rules should be enacted, and more preferential policies facilitating legal services should be passed. Additionally, more support should be given to professional arbitration in the intellectual property and seed industries, while arbitration in international investment and sports should be explored and promoted via the annual conference of the Boao Forum for Asia - a high-end platform for dialogue among leaders of national governments, industrial and business circles, and academics.


Dispute resolution has been listed as one of the first-level indicators to measure the business enabling environment by the World Bank. International commercial arbitration is widely considered a major method to solve disputes in international trade and investment.


Based on China’s master plan for the development of the Hainan Free Trade Port, which was released in June, 2020, a law-based, international, and convenient business environment as well as a fair, open, unified, and efficient market environment should be fostered. The development of the FTP International Commercial Arbitration Center will play a key role in attracting more commercial resources from around the globe to the island of Hainan.

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