Wednesday 01, November 2017 by Jessica Combes

DIFC DRA and Hangzhou Arbitration Commission develop e-commerce dispute resolution

 

Dubai’s Dispute Resolution Authority (DRA) has taken another step towards global connectivity of dispute resolution centres by forging an agreement with Hangzhou Arbitration Commission, one of China’s leading arbitration bodies.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) targets the development of online dispute resolution solutions to bolster global e-commerce and the use of smart technologies, such as artificial intelligence and blockchain. The agreement will also support the development of enforcement mechanisms between Hangzhou and DIFC Courts. 

The cooperation accord was signed by Mark Beer, OBE, Chief Executive, DRA, who was in China to speak at The Second Global Cross-border E-commerce Summit. With Hangzhou spearheading the ‘online silk road’, the conference also explored the protection of intellectual property relating to cross-border e-commerce. Emerging as the modern-day crossroads connecting east and west, Dubai’s commitment to harness technology to be a City of the Future compliments Hangzhou’s parallel ambitions.

Looking east and developing relations with China is amongst the foreign policy priorities of Dubai and the UAE. China has been Dubai’s biggest trading partner since 2014 and it has been the second-largest trading partner of the UAE since 2011. According to the UAE Ministry of Economy, the total UAE-China trade amounted to $141.74 billion during the 2014-2016 period. Non-oil trade between the two countries stood at $46.3 billion in 2016, with the UAE’s investments in China worth more than $2.1 billion.

This knowledge exchange agreement follows the newly announced Courts of the Future Forum, an initiative spearheaded by the DRA’s DIFC Courts, and the Dubai Future Foundation. Assembling global experts in law, technology, IT and business, the Forum will aim to design a global prototype for how the Courts of the Future will apply the Rules of the Future to solve the Problems of Future.

Hangzhou Arbitration Commission was established in 1996 and today lists more than 600 arbitrators from home and abroad. It supports business in China’s eastern Zhejiang Province, which is one of the country’s major centres for industry, business, logistics and e-commerce. Often referred to as China’s Silicon Valley, Hangzhou is noted for the high number of tech and internet start-ups located within the 104-square kilometre Hangzhou Economic & Technological Development Zone. 

As one of the key dispute resolution bodies in eastern China, Hangzhou Arbitration Commission is well-placed to support companies to trade and innovate securely between Dubai, the UAE and China. Following a landmark 2016 cooperation agreement with the Shanghai High People’s Court, this new alliance further demonstrates the DRA’s commitment to the UAE-China relationship on judicial matters and to the overall One Belt One Road initiative.