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Seminar on China-Africa Legal Cooperation and Arbitration Mechanism Innovation Successfully Held

 

On the afternoon of May 19th, 2016, Mr. João Maria de Sousa, Attorney General of Angola, led a delegation accompanied by Mr. Gu Zhaomin, Director for the Overseas Liaison Department of China Law Society (hereinafter referred to as “CLS”) and visited SHIAC. SHIAC and CLS jointly organized the Seminar on China-Africa Legal Cooperation and Arbitration Mechanism Innovation during the visit.

The seminar was hosted by Mr. Ma Yi, vice-Chairman for SHIAC. In the seminar, Mr. João Maria de Sousa, Professor Du Tao, Executive vice-President of the Legal Institute for BRICS Countries, ECUPL, Mr. Huang Ningning, Managing Partner of Grandall Law Firm (Shanghai) and Chairman for the Research Committee on Investment, Shanghai Bar Association, Mr. Wang Junwei, Legal Manager of Shanghai Electric Group Co., Ltd, Mr. Yang Peiming, Partner of Llinks Law Offices and vice-Chairman for the Research Committee on Commercial Dispute Resolution, Shanghai Bar Association and Mr. Huang Wen, Deputy Secretary General of SHIAC respectively delivered their keynote speeches in aspects like Investment and Legal Environment in Angola, China-Africa Judicial Assistance, Cooperation on Legal Service from Chinese and African Lawyers, China-Africa Investment and Dispute Resolution, and Development of China-Africa Joint Arbitration Centre, etc.

Mr. João Maria de Sousa introduced the new Angolan Private Investment Law and shared his perspectives regarding the investment and law environment of Angola, as well as the Angolan policy orientation. Mr. João Maria de Sousa emphasized that, in front of the uncertainty of both Angolan and global economy, the Angolan government is aimed at developing pluralistic economy and encourages global investors to invest in Angola. According to him, the new Angolan Private Investment Law offers the global investors with the same protection on their investment as the Angolans, and shows both endeavor and determination of the Angolan government in building their market that respects free competition as well as moral standards. Mr. João Maria de Sousa also took the time into the specifications of the new Angolan Private Investment Law, like litigation on private investment disputes, tax incentives for private investment in Angola and avoidance of double taxation, etc.

Professor Du Tao made a speech on the Status and Prospect for China-Africa Judicial Assistance. Professor Du looked into the matters of enforcement for civil judgments and arbitral awards. He cited a large scope of legal grounds for judicial assistance between China and other jurisdictions, ranging from China’s Civil Procedure Law, China’s bilateral judicial assistance treaties, Hague Convention on Evidence-Taking, Hague Convention on Service and New York Convention to the imminent Convention on Choice of Court Agreements. He also expressed his expectation on the conclusion of judicial assistance treaty for civil judgments and arbitral awards between China and Angola.

Mr. Huang Ningning made a speech on the Cooperation on Legal Service from Chinese and African Lawyers. Mr. Huang suggested that Chinese and African attorneys may cooperate in several approaches like legal research, industry communication, rule-making and dispute resolution, etc. Mr. Huang also indicated that, although Angola has not become a member of a few multi-lateral dispute resolution mechanisms that people already know, the Angolan investment provisions like Basic Law of Private Investment, Private Investment Promotion Law and Law of Private Investment Revenue and Tariff may stabilize the global investors’ confidence.

Mr. Wang Junwei shared his company’s practice and experience in foreign investment. He displayed a number of Merger & Acquisition and EPC (Engineering Procurement Construction) projects, thoroughly analyzed the risk types and key points of foreign investment, demonstrated the entire process of investment and acquisition, and introduced the construction projects of Shanghai Electric Group Co., Ltd in Angola, other African countries and the globe.

Mr. Yang Peiming delivered a keynote speech featuring China-Africa Investment and Dispute Resolution. Mr. Yang introduced the latest development of Chinese investment in Africa and analyzed the risks that the Chinese investors might face in Africa. He explained on the core clauses in China-Africa investment treaties, like the dispute resolution clause, identification of investor, expropriation and compensation, etc. Mr. Yang also introduced on the cases in ICSID (International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes), in which African countries or their global investors were involved.

Mr. Huang Wen shared on the progress that China-Africa Joint Arbitration Centre (CAJAC) has made. Mr. Huang mentioned that, under the guidance of CLS and in cooperation with ASFA (Arbitration Foundation of Southern Africa) and Africa ADR, SHIAC has built CAJAC and established CAJAC Shanghai. For the same purpose, SHIAC absorbed 20 Southern African arbitrators into its current Panel of Arbitrators. Mr. Huang concluded his speech by calling upon other African countries, like Angola, to join in the CAJAC project and work together to offer efficient, professional and just arbitration services to Chinese and African businesses and individuals.

The seminar ended with the remark by Mr. Gu Zhaomin. Mr. Gu pointed out that, with the “One Belt, One Road” Initiative launched, our external legal cooperation represented by the CAJAC project remains an important task under the Johannesburg Action Plan and incarnates the concept and principle of Legal Diplomacy, an idea originated by CLS. As the “One Belt, One Road” Initiative drives forward, those Chinese businesses going abroad will face increasing demand for legal services that match with cross-border transactions and investments. On such a background, Mr. Gu called upon the law firms, arbitration institutions and academics to enhance their legal research and participate in global communication and cooperation so as to serve those Chinese businesses going abroad and offer their intellectual and knowledge as China becomes a more active player in the global society and in crafting the international orders. 

During the seminar, SHIAC announced the appointment of Mr. João Maria de Sousa as the Councilor for CAJAC Shanghai and awarded him the certificate of appointment. Over forty Chinese and foreign attorneys, corporate representatives, in-houses, university researchers and arbitration practitioners joined in this seminar.

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