Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday suggested creation of a task force of experts and officials to deliberate on the challenges in international arbitration in the BRICS countries and put in place institutional mechanisms to establish arbitral centres in these nations.
Delivering the valedictory address at the conference on ‘International Arbitration in BRICS – Challenges, Opportunities and Road Ahead’, jointly organised by Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, FICCI and Indian Council of Arbitration (ICA), Jaitley said in the pursuit of free trade that one must not lose the sight of the fact that free trade also means fair trade, which is not detached from local commitments.
To strengthen the arbitration mechanism, the finance minister emphasised the need to have lawyers of credibility and said it was necessary to make enforcement of awards largely free from the interference by domestic courts. This, he said, was imperative as many countries fear that the arbitral awards are loaded against the emerging countries.
Jaitley said that the challenges posed by economic slowdown continue to haunt the global economy.
The emerging economies, predominantly the BRICS nations, would have to shoulder the responsibility of driving global growth. Therefore, he said, the BRICS nations would have to evolve and put forth a common agenda for growth, and the key is to develop local capabilities to deal with the challenges that lie ahead.
Shaktikanta Das, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs stressed the need for striking an optimal balance between public good and private commercial requirements in the context of investment agreements.
For dispute settlement, the first recourse should be to reach out to local courts and if the local courts fail to deliver within five years, arbitration should be resorted to.
He added that there was a need for early disposal of frivolous claims.