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NEWS UPDATES 21 July 2010

New law promotes arbitration

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The Law on Commercial Arbitration Law recently passed by the National Assembly will provide an important legal foundation for businesses to minimise the risks of disputes, said the head of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry's legal department, Tran Huu Huynh, as he talked with Viet Nam news.

Speaking at a conference in Ha Noi yesterday held to review the provisions of the new law, Huynh said few enterprises in Viet Nam have yet paid much attention to arbitration, continuing to prefer to take their disputes to court rather than employ commercial arbitrators.

He added that the settlement of disputes by arbitration was fast, effective and confidential, and the arbitration of disputes would help ease the burden on the nation's court system.

Statistics from the Viet Nam International Arbitration Centre have shown that the Ha Noi People's Court handled 300 economic disputes in 2009, while those in HCM City had a docket of around 1,000. Meanwhile, the centre last year handled only 58 petitions for arbitration from businesses.

"Every judge in Ha Noi and HCM City's economic courts yearly handles from 30 to 50 disputes while the average arbitrator handles only one," said Viet Nam Law Association chairman Pham Quoc Anh.

The nation currently has a total of seven arbitration centres, but arbitration has not been popular in Viet Nam due to a lack of a proper legal framework in the 2003 Ordinance on Commercial Arbitration.

"The law has improved shortcomings in the ordinance such as removing limitations on the application of arbitration to commercial disputes," Anh said. "Commercial disputes, meanwhile, are increasing rapidly, requiring quick and efficient forms of settlement."

The new law, which would take effect next January 1, would also create an equal legal footing for both Vietnamese and foreign enterprises, said the vice chairman of the National Assembly's Justice Committee, Pham Quy Ty.

Retailers said public relations campaigns should be conducted to raise awareness among enterprises of the advantages of arbitration, said Dinh Thi My Loan, secretary general and standing vice chairman of the Association of Viet Nam Retailers.

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