Bangladesh International Arbitration Centre (BIAC) recently celebrated its 7th founding anniversary. On this occasion, Chairman of BIAC, Mahbubur Rahman moderated a seminar themed “Mainstreaming the Use of ADR Clause in Commercial Agreements: Challenges and Opportunities”.
Speaking as Chief Guest at the event, Law Minister Anisul Huq said that BIAC in the last 7 years of its operation has done commendable job and its joining the process of settling commercial disputes beyond the court has created a ray of hope. The present Government is relentlessly working on incorporation of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in different existing laws in order to make dispute resolution system easier and less time consuming.
Fazle Kabir, Governor, Bangladesh Bank in his address as Special Guest urged all scheduled banks to take effective initiatives to include ADR in Loan Commercial Contracts.
Guest speaker of the seminar Justice Sudhansu Jyoti Mukhopadhaya, Chairperson of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal, India in his speech mentioned the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code introduced two years ago in India, which forces parties to go for Arbitration as pre-requisite to invoke liquidation clause. Bangladesh needs ADR friendly legislation reforms and engage institutions like BIAC so that international commercial arbitration cases from abroad can be held in Bangladesh instead of only being directed to Singapore.
Barrister Ajmalul Hossain, QC pointed out that mere inclusion of ADR clauses in contracts in not enough unless laws are amended to make enforcement easier.
Chairman of the Association of Bankers, Bangladesh Syed Mahbubur Rahman opined that mandatory provision of Arbitration and pre-litigation mediation must be included in our legislation.
The Country CEO of Standard Chartered, Bangladesh Naser Ezaz Bijoy opined that courts should take punitive measures against parties that refuse to resolve disputes amicably through ADR.
Dr M Masrur Reaz of IFC-World Bank Group highlighted the relevance of BIAC for quality FDI to come in for long term financing in Bangladesh.
Barrister Sameer Sattar said urged the Government for further amendment of existing laws in order to mainstream ADR in the country.
Anuroop Omkar, Advocate, Mediator and Director of Bridge Mediation and Consulting Pvt Ltd, New Delhi stressed the need of collaboration, through arbitration-mediation, where both parties are equally benefitted.
Wendy Werner, the Country Manager for Bangladesh IFC-World Bank Group mentioned that Bangladesh has a fairly weak position in terms of Enforcing Contracts in the World Bank’s Doing Business Index and needs to improve for increasing investment into the country.
BIAC’s CEO, Muhammad A. (Rumee) Ali, in his address of welcome said that, BIAC, in last 7 years has been trying to attract banks, corporate and education institutions to adhere to ADR methods.
Mahbubur Rahman, Chairman, BIAC in his concluding remarks said that BIAC along with Bangladesh Bank and Association of Bankers Bangladesh is working on a draft guideline for the banking industry to resolve commercial and financial disputes using ADR and announced that the office is going to relocate at Paribag, which will be closer to the Supreme Court.
Former Chief Justices and Justices, diplomats, senior lawyers, Government high officials, Managing Directors of banks, distinguished business leaders, representatives from foreign missions and international organisations were present on this auspicious occasion.