The current Arbitration Act has to be amended in order to promote quick dispute resolution in international trade and draw foreign direct investment (FDI), said experts.
They revealed it while discussing at a conference titled “Revisiting Arbitration Act for Encouraging Investment in Bangladesh” organized by The Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI).
In his speech as chief guest, Law Minister Anisul Huq said that they can access justice more quickly through alternative dispute settlement systems.
The government is committed to creating rules and regulations that are as business-friendly as feasible. The 2001 Arbitration Act might be amended, he added.
He also concurred that the duration of the arbitration process should be set in stone and recommended alternative dispute resolution among business people as well (ADR).
He also agreed that the FDI regime will significantly improve with an efficient ADR mechanism.
He further said that the Code of Civil Procedure (CPC) Act has already been revised and that the mediation convention will be signed.
DCCI President Md Sameer Sattar said that it is crucial to create a legal framework that permits prompt and effective contract enforcements, particularly in the context of cross-border commercial disputes, in order to further promote the success and growth of the nation’s business climate.
It is essential to change the Arbitration Act as the first step towards addressing such difficulties existing in our legal environment, he added.
The number of business conflicts has dramatically increased over the past few decades due to Bangladesh’s growing Investment inflow, he also said.
British High Commissioner to Bangladesh and special guest Robert Chatterton Dickson said that Bangladesh has made tremendous progress especially in the last two decades.
Moreover, Bangladesh will graduate from the LDC group in the next three years and reforms of the arbitration act will help improve ease of doing business and that will attract FDI more, he also said.
After LDC graduation, Bangladesh will have to compete with other countries. It is true that foreign investors need their investment protection and faster litigation process through arbitration and mediation are very effective, he added.
Barrister Ashraful Hadi, a Supreme Court advocate, presented the keynote paper, where he recommended that the arbitral tribunal should have the same power as the court.
Zaved Akhtar, CEO, Unilever Bangladesh Ltd, Yasir Azman, CEO, Grameenphone Ltd, and Promod Nair, advocate from India also presented at the seminar.