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Malaysia moves to address disputes along Belt and Road

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Warm welcome: Ong (left) sharing a light moment with Jiang after arriving in Beijing.

BEIJING: Malaysia wants to push for an arbitration alliance with China to address disputes that arise among countries along the Belt and Road route.

Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting, the chairman of Malaysia-China Business Council (MCBC), said the existence of such an alliance would provide better legal protection for investments and projects under China’s Belt and Road initiative.

“The rules will be more transparent and the awards (of the ar­­bitration centres) will be enforced with certainty,” he said.

Ong, who is also the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to China, is in Beijing for the annual joint business council meeting bet­ween MCBC and China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT). He said the proposal for the alliance was initiated by Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Ar­­bi­tration (KLRCA) in view of the increased exchanges between Malaysia, China and other countries under Belt and Road.

KLRCA’s counterpart is China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission, which is under CCPIT.

The alliance would address specific sectors including infrastructure, maritime and other commercial disputes.

It will focus on harmonising the arbitration law among countries along the Belt and Road and ensuring a uniform and consis­tent mechanism for enforcement of awards.

Ong, during a lunch meeting with CCPIT chairman Jiang Zeng­wei yesterday, said Malaysia and China could extend bilateral co­­operation beyond the traditional areas to include digital economy.

He said MCBC would host a Malaysia-China Digital Economy Forum in October.

“The forum aims at exploring further action plans to tap into China’s explosive growth in the digital economy sector,” he said.

Jiang, meanwhile, expressed a keen interest for Chinese businesses to use Malaysia as a platform to access countries in the Middle East.

He said Malaysia was highly respected among the Muslims in the world, an observation he made during his visits to Egypt, Jordan and Yemen.

The 40-strong Malaysia delegation to the meeting include lea­ders of MCBC and Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia, as well as representatives from government agencies.

BY THO XIN YI

(Source: The Star,  19 September 2016)

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