Arbitration cases handled by the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC) and its branches in 2013 rose 18.5 percent to 1,256, compared with 1,060 cases in the previous year, the commission said Tuesday.
Of the 1,256 cases, 375 involved foreign parties, up from 311 cases a year ago. Foreign cases refer to cross-border and Hong Kong disputes as well as those in which Chinese parties are not involved.
“The cases that involve foreign parties are actually higher than what’s shown in the figures because we excluded the ones between domestic companies registered in China but with foreign shareholders,” secretary general Wang Wenying told the Hong Kong Economic Journal’s EJ Insight on the sidelines of a conference organized by the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce.
“We expect the number of arbitration cases and those involving foreign parties to grow as the country gets more internationalized. Setting up a branch in Hong Kong is a first step for the country’s arbitration practice to become internationalized,” she said, adding that CIETAC has no plans to add branches outside China at the moment.
“Part of the reason for setting up a branch in Hong Kong is that local parties are the second majority clients for our commission and we want to provide them convenience,” Wang said, adding that the third place goes to the United States, where disputes mostly involve joint ventures or investments in intellectual property and information technology.
Domestic arbitration cases usually take four months to bring to resolution while cases involving foreign parties take about six months. Cases involving small claims of less than 2 million yuan (US$322,820) are usually settled within three months, Wang said.
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