The Burgeoning International Arbitration Field in Southeast Asia

Photo of Carlos A. Maycotte

As more and more nations strive to cut themselves a piece of the international arbitration pie, Southeast Asia is a perfect example of a region where countries are looking to broaden their presence in the field of international arbitration. Recently, the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (“SIAC”) saw an increase to an all-time-high figure of $2.9bn (£1.9bn) in revenue from new international arbitration cases. The number of new cases for the SIAC jumped from 188 in 2011 to 235 in 2013, for an increase of 25 percent.

Other countries are eyeing similar booms. The Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration (“KLRCA”) in Malaysia is currently touting its friendliness in arbitration and its adoption of the i-Arbitration Rules, which are the “first set of Islamic arbitration rules in the world for the resolution of disputes arising from commercial contracts containing syariah issues.” The KLRCA is seeking to expand its caseload from 100 cases last year to 250 cases per year in 2016.

Similarly, a delegation from the Bangladesh International Arbitration Centre (“BIAC”) is visiting the Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (“CRCICA”) with a goal of understanding the process of alternative dispute resolution and examining the business model of CRCICA. The expectation is that, in the future, BIAC will collaborate with CRCICA, expanding the presence of the BIAC on the global stage.

As these examples illustrate, international arbitration is growing and more and more countries are looking to enter the arena. With the growing demand for alternative dispute resolution in the international field, this trend will surely escalate.


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