Lahore: Today, arbitration and conciliation is an important mode of dispute resolution in the international commercial arena as it saves precious time and money of the business doing people through out-of-court settlement of business dispute through mediation therefore the businessmen should avail this tool to give boost to their businesses.
This was the crux of the speeches delivered at a seminar on “Arbitration and Conciliation-Alternate means for settlement of commercial disputes in SAARC countries”, jointly organized by the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry and SAARC Arbitration Council (SARCO), here at the LCCI on Thursday.
The LCCI President Ijaz A. Mumtaz, Senior Vice President Mian Nauman Kabir, Director General of South Asia & SAARC, Ministry of Foreign Affairs-Government of Pakistan Mohammad Nafees Zakaria, Director General SARCO Thusantha Wijemanna and Deputy Director of SARCO Malik Imran Ahmed were the prominent speakers amongst the others.
The speakers said that there was a dire need of an Arbitration Forum in the SAARC region to provide fair, inexpensive, expeditious and high quality arbitral and conciliatory services to resolve trade, commercial, investment and disputes.
The Director General SARCO Thusantha Wijemanna in his address, urged the LCCI members to avail the services of SAARC Arbitration Council (SARCO) to settle their disputes out of the court with their counterparts in SAARC member states.
He said that SAARC Arbitration Council (SARCO) was acting as a quality alternative dispute resolution forum, that world act on behalf of governments and the people of SAARC Member States on its panel of arbitrators and conciliators.
He said that the main objectives of SARCO are to provide a legal framework within the region for fair and efficient settlement through conciliation and arbitration of commercial, investment and such other disputes and to introduce arbitration and conciliation as effective means of dispute resolution.
Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI President Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that significance of arbitration and conciliation has gone up now due to lengthy procedural delays in courts of law. He said domestic, matrimonial and industrial disputes can be settled through arbitration and conciliation.
Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that when trade relations develop, there are possibilities that trade disputes may arise. He said that the conventional way of litigation is not always favourable as it is time consuming, many a times not equitable, and may cause permanent damage to business relations.
He said that the fundamental purpose of introducing alternate dispute resolution mechanisms is to help local and foreign companies avoid litigation constraints.
“We are not challenging the importance of Litigation but arbitration fills the gaps where litigation falters. These are the areas in which distributive justice is most appropriate but cannot be approximated in legislation”, the LCCI president added.
Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that with the soaring global cost of civil litigation, more and more businesses are opting for a varied range of dispute resolution strategies.
He said that SAARC is one of the biggest economic blocks of the world therefore role of SAARC Arbitration & Reconciliation Council has become more significant.
LCCI President said that SARCO should promote the growth and effective functioning of national arbitration institutions within the region.
SARCO should also act as a coordinating agency in the SAARC dispute resolution system and coordinate the activities of and assist existing institutions concerned with arbitration, particularly those in the region.