Date
24 October 2017
Inside The Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone

The Big Picture: MEDIATION COURT

The Shanghai free trade zone on Wednesday set up a mediation court for international business disputes. The independent third-party mediation court will help companies resolve disputes over commercial and intellectual property rights issues in an effective, flexible and low-cost way, the FTZ administration office said in a statement Thursday.

The court will cooperate with other arbitration organizations, including the Center for Effective Dispute Resolution, the Association for International Arbitration, Singapore Mediation Centre, Hong Kong International Arbitration Center, Hong Kong Mediation Council and the United States-based Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services Inc.

The progress of the Shanghai FTZ has been much faster than expected in terms of arbitration issues, compared to the Qianhai special zone in Shenzhen. It is less difficult for the Shanghai FTZ to set up a mediation court as all foreign arbitration organizations have already been in the city for many years.  

In Qianhai, it may take some more time for a mediation court to be set up as everything has to start from scratch, observers say. Qianhai authorities said a few months ago that a set of rules pertaining to international business arbitration for the area is still under preparation. 

With the opening of the mediation court in Shanghai, the FTZ should be able to attract more multinational firms.

The zone is said to have processed over 50,000 corporate and personal enquiries so far, while the number of registered enterprises at the zone has gone up to over 800, Xinhua news agency reported Wednesday, citing Dai Haibo {戴海波}, deputy secretary-general of the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government and executive deputy director of the FTZ Management Committee. 

Li urges EU to ease curbs on Chinese hi-tech products

Premier Li Keqiang called on the European Union to ease restrictions on Chinese high-tech products, China News Service reported Thursday. The government will encourage domestic companies to expand into European markets, he said. In a meeting with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, Li said China aims to work with the EU to explore promising new areas for development, promote trade and investment and fight protectionism. 

Sovereign bond auction yields mixed results

A sixth auction of sovereign offshore yuan-denominated bonds yielded mixed results Thursday on expectations of currency appreciation and tighter monetary conditions in China, the Wall Street Journal reported. Most of the interest in the 7 billion yuan (US$1.15 billion) sale was in three-year bonds which attracted orders worth 4.1 times the 5 billion yuan on offer while the 2 billion yuan tranche of five-year sovereign bonds was 2.7 times subscribed. The overall robust interest in the bonds reflects significant liquidity in the offshore yuan market. 

–Contact HKEJ at [email protected]

JP/AC/RC

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