To consolidate the strategic positioning of Hong Kong as a centre for international legal and dispute resolution services in the Asia-Pacific under the National 14th Five Year Plan, the Hong Kong Department of Justice (DoJ) and Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) organized the Resolve2Win – Legal Services of Hong Kong, Opportunities for All campaign (Resolve2Win).
The signature campaign promotes throughout ASEAN and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) Hong Kong’s legal and dispute resolution services, which were debuted by a delegation that visited Bangkok in March. Mr Cheung Kwok-kwan, SBS, JP, Deputy Secretary for Justice, led nearly 30 representatives from Hong Kong’s legal sector for face-to-face talks with Thai legal and business representatives, promoting the advantages of Hong Kong legal services and collaboration between Hong Kong and Thailand.
The visit aimed to let Thai businesses understand the unique advantages of Hong Kong legal services in resolving commercial disputes through arbitration and mediation and selecting Hong Kong as their preferred trade and dispute resolution platform while also helping Hong Kong legal professionals seize rising business opportunities in Thailand. The Hong Kong Bar Association, Law Society of Hong Kong, Thailand Arbitration Center and Thai branch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators were supporting organisations.
The plenary session – Hong Kong as a Deal Making and Dispute Resolution Hub – was a major activity for the delegation. Mr Cheung, and Dr Patrick Lau, Deputy Executive Director of the HKTDC, were the officiating guests of the forum. In his welcome remarks, Dr Patrick Lau said, “Hong Kong has a large, well-established legal sector full of professionals well-versed in legal systems across the world, making the city the perfect choice for anyone seeking legal services. As business links grow between ASEAN countries and Mainland China, particularly the Greater Bay Area, disputes are bound to arise. All parties would agree that arbitration and mediation are a better approach than litigation. In [this] forum, we will find out how businesses in Thailand, ASEAN and Mainland China can use Hong Kong as a dispute-resolution platform.“
Highlighting the unique opportunities offered by Hong Kong as the only common law jurisdiction within China under the "one country, two systems", Mr Cheung pointed out that national strategies including the 14th Five-Year Plan, Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) Development and Belt and Road Initiative not only have injected continuous impetus to the growth of Hong Kong, but also brought opportunities to ASEAN member states. He further said that as a leading legal and dispute resolution services centre in the Asia-Pacific region, Hong Kong has a strong pool of legal talents, particularly in dispute resolution services.
The event shed light on Hong Kong’s advantages in corporate and commercial legal services and illustrated why Hong Kong is an effective in arbitration and mediation to resolve commercial disputes. They also provide practical tips for Thai businesses to handle cross-border commercial disputes, especially when Mainland Chinese parties are involved. More than 10 Thai companies confirmed their willingness to enter mediation before turning to other resolution methods such as litigation.
The HKTDC also arranged a luncheon and interaction session for more than 200 participants, legal representatives from Hong Kong and legal and business sectors from Thailand to discuss all Hong Kong can offer.
The Hong Kong legal delegation also paid a courtesy visit to legal and business groups, including the Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Thailand Arbitration Center and Lawyers Council of Thailand to discuss potential collaboration.