U.S. and China Keep Singapore Waiting on Business Mediation Treaty

Posted in News

[Mediation in the News]

Nikkei today reported on the Singapore Convention on Mediation and the progress in which States are coming on board.

Acknowledging that many countries—including the U.S. and China—have yet to ratify the international treaty, Singapore’s second minister for law, Mr Edwin Tong SC, said, “In its initial stages, just like any new convention, it will take a bit of time, simply because besides a convention being agreed to, there needs to be a domestic process.”

Meanwhile mediation has never been more relevant, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic which has disrupted business operations and stretched corporate finance around the world. SIMC has seen a record doubling of cases from 23 filings in 2019 to 43 in 2020. In the first eight months of 2021 alone, SIMC has received 54 cases.

Dispute values have also increased. The average dispute value of cases in the first eight months of this year was $30.5 million – close to double the average of $16.7 million in 2019.

Many of these cases are cross-border in nature. Cases involve parties from about 40 jurisdictions, including the U.S., China, India, Japan, South Korea and Australia.

Singapore is encouraging counterparts to sign and ratify the Convention. In this respect, Mr Tong said, “We are prepared to offer assistance, whether it is in terms of education, or seminars, or making sure that people understand the internal processes that are needed to get themselves up to speed.”

Read the full story here.