Industrialists as well as local and international lawyers have requested the establishment of a fool-proof mechanism of commercial arbitration for the sustainable development of foreign investment ecosystem and international trade sector of Pakistan.

Speaking at a webinar on Thursday, they said that the current challenges faced by commercial courts were similar to those hindering the functioning of all other courts in the country.

The panel of speakers included judges and lawyers from Pakistan, the UK, Singapore and China.

According to them, the problems included cost and resource pressures, maintaining standards, dealing with complexity, adapting to the pace and nature of business and technological change and how best to provide access to litigants, who could not afford representation.

Lahore High Court Commercial Judge Justice Jawad Hassan recalled that Pakistan had recently established commercial courts at the district level.

“The new commercial courts dovetail with a number of macroeconomic and geostrategic trends including the rise of Asia and China in particular as a supplier of outbound capital, dispute resolution and increasing diversification of forums across the world,” Hassan said.

Suzhou International Commercial Court China Deputy Chief Judge Yang Enqian said that international collaboration and cooperation should be welcomed for a number of reasons.

Pakistan-China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry President SM Naveed said that in recent years, a number of states and municipalities had established new commercial courts, which were perceived to be the building blocks of economic development and global commerce.

“We are keen to develop commercial courts in Pakistan including those that are designed primarily for domestic disputes and the ones geared towards international disputes,” he said.

The new international courts share a common aspiration to resolve commercial conflicts and they are cheap and quick whose judgements are enforceable.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 30th, 2021.

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