As a part of BIAC’s ongoing activities to promote ADR in the country and on occasion of two foreign Arbitrator’s forthcoming visit from Malaysia and Turkey to Bangladesh in order to arbitrate an international commercial dispute from 13-18 December 2016, Bangladesh International Arbitration Centre (BIAC) arranged a seminar on “ADR: International Best Practice and success factors” on 17th December 2016 at 7:00 p.m. at Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s auditorium.
The Governor of Bangladesh Bank, Mr. Fazle Kabir was the Chief Guest at the Seminar. He stressed that ADR is all the more pressing today because of the need for speedy resolution of financial claim disputes. The lack of it is hanging heavily on the balance sheets of not only lending institutions but also to the borrowers’ businesses. He said, “I am heartened to see BIAC proactively teaming up with liaison networks with its peer group and entities abroad which is demonstrated by hosting the very timely seminar with two of our eminent arbitrators from abroad.”
In his address of welcome, Chief Executive Officer Muhammad A. (Rumee) Ali stated an institutionalized mediation would perhaps give the process more credibility and transparency. Arbitration as an ADR process is not allowed by the Money Loan Court Act. He suggested the loan up to a certain amount could be allowed under such a credible arbitration process for quick disposal and that non-performance of contract regardless of it being lending, depository or procurement contract is an important risk that should be covered through the ERM process. Given the delay one faces in litigation process that the financial institutions put a time value to money ADR should be included in all contracts as risk mitigant. Others among the speakers of this Seminar were: Professor Halil Ercument Erdem, an eminent Lawyer and Arbitrator from Istanbul, Turkey who added that what we are trying to achieve is a refined and amicable resolution in order to avoid arbitration. It is important to have a well-drafted ADR clause because what we are facing in most of the cases is that the problem starts with poorly-drafted ADR clauses.
Moreover, Mr. Vinayak Prabhakar Pradhan, an eminent Lawyer and Arbitrator from Malaysia said that there is a greater cost benefit in arbitration than in court taking into account all factors. If one is in international contract term, then arbitration is what they should go for because an arbitral award can be enforced according to the provisions of the New York Convention which apply in 170 countries.
Barrister Ajmalul Hossain, Q.C. agreed that we are moving very much in the direction of ADR moving away from court to resolve disputes. That is the context in which ADR is now being encouraged and BIAC is playing its role in encouraging ADR in Bangladesh.
Managing Director and CEO of City Bank Ltd., Mr. Sohail R.K. Hossain asserted the benefits of ADR will clearly reduce backlog on our court system, and improve quality of representation and awards. He said that this is why City Bank has signed MOU with BIAC for dispute resolutions through the same body; they are actively reviewing, adding provisions in their contracts for ADR resolutions before going to the court.
Additionally, Managing Director and CEO of Green-Delta Insurance Company Ltd., Ms. Farzana Chowdhury said that promotion of arbitration should be embedded in the strategic objectives of any corporation and that we have to believe arbitration process will be beneficial for the parties, private sector and customers. She suggested the need for a national advisory committee, all the regulators and the related stakeholders should be a part of it. There should be continuous learning process by sharing the best practices.
Mahbubur Rahman, Chairman BIAC Board, as a moderator of the seminar took the time to elaborately introduce everyone, expressed his gratitude towards the esteemed guest for gracing the seminar with their presence.
Distinguished Jurists including former Chief Justices KM Hasan, former Justice Awlad Ali, former Justice Abdus Salam Mamun, Mr. M. Shah Alam Sarwar, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of The International Finance Investment and Commerce (IFIC) Bank Limited, Mr. S.A.A Masrur , Country Head , Bank Alfalah, Senior official of Bangladesh Bank, senior government officials, officials of Banks, prominent businessmen, lawyers and media personalities attended the seminar and participated in deliberations.