Arbitration institutions from the Belt & Road Countries have reached a preliminary agreement on how to carry out the Beijing Joint Declaration of the Belt & Road Arbitration Institutions and will implement it by the end of this year.

Speaking at the Arbitration Summit 2020 that was held on Tuesday, chairwoman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) Gao Yan said that 17 international dispute settlement institutions and 13 domestic arbitration institutions reached a preliminary agreement on a cooperation mechanism to implement the Beijing joint declaration.

Gao also said that arbitration institutions face unprecedented opportunities and challenges amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and arbitration institutions should work together and support each other to overcome global challenges and crises.

“This year, at the joint proposal from arbitration institutions including the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes, 13 main arbitration institutions have launched international arbitration and COVID-19 related initiatives, and the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission was invited to be an initiator.

We will actively support international organizations and arbitration institutions to play their roles, so as to contribute to the steady and sustainable development of the global economy,” said Gao.

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased disputes on contract delays or terminations

As Chinese arbitration institutions are getting more and more internationalized, China is opening up the commercial arbitration dispute settlement sector, allowing foreign arbitration service providers to set up offices and do business in certain places.

Meanwhile, China’s Supreme People’s Court is beefing up efforts to support and supervise arbitrations, so as to create a friendly judicial supervision environment for arbitration.

“The tribunal of international commercial affairs of the Supreme People’s Court is actively building a one-stop dispute settlement platform for mediation, arbitration and litigation. With the data from court’s litigation platform, mobile court and arbitration providers, we want to smooth the online channel that links litigation with mediation and arbitration, so as to gradually make the entire process online, from case acceptance, document delivery, mediation, pre-trial evidence exchanges, trial opening to the court decision,” said Yang Wanming, vice president of the Supreme People’s Court.

The China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission, China’s oldest arbitration institution, has signed agreements with over 70 arbitration institutions in the past 60 years and more.

The commission handled 3,333 cases in 2019, worth more than 120 billion yuan (about 17.69 billion U.S. dollars), outperforming many other arbitration institutions in terms of the number of cases, the value of cases involved, and the number of countries involved.