S'pore to be Asian centre for dispute resolution

S'pore to be Asian centre for dispute resolution

Singapore is aiming to become the "premier destination" in Asia for legal services and dispute resolution, Law Minister K. Shanmugam said on Thursday.

Sharing plans to set up an independent mediation centre, and further details on a previously-announced Singapore International Commercial Court (SICC), he said the Republic can meet a growing demand for legal services in a region that has grown in economic importance.

"Singapore is a focal point in Asia for many international transactions, be it trade, investment or financial and other services," he said.

"Our dispute resolution sector supports those services. We seek to serve the region and expand the work that Asia is attracting, by the provision of a neutral venue for every kind of dispute resolution."

He was speaking to delegates from more than 25 countries at the 26th LawAsia Conference at the Suntec convention centre.

Asia is expected to more than triple its gross domestic product to US$34 trillion (S$42 trillion) between 2010 and 2020, Mr Shanmugam noted.

Foreign direct investment in the region stood at about US$400 billion last year - or 30 of per cent of global flows.

With the increasing number of complex cross-border commercial transactions and investment, disputes will "inevitably" increase, he said.

The plans follow strong growth in the arbitration sector here, which the Government will continue to focus on. The fields of international commercial mediation and litigation, in particular, will be targeted.

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