Mr. Nguyen Khanh Ngoc, Vice Minister of Justice,
Ladies and gentlemen,
On behalf of UNDP, it is my great pleasure to welcome you all to this consultation workshop on the study report on provisions of the UNCITRAL Model Law regarding the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards.
I would like to start by thanking the International Law Department, Ministry of Justice, for the collaboration with UNDP to organize today’s event, and the UK government for supporting this event.
This workshop is organized under the UNDP Regional Project “Promoting a Fair Business Environment in ASEAN”, which is generously funded by the UK Prosperity Fund. This three – year Project aims at promoting a fair business environment in ASEAN by minimizing corruption risks. It targets 6 countries in ASEAN: Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and of course Viet Nam which is one of the priority countries of this programme.
Over the past years, Vietnam has successfully pursued the policy of global economic integration. Viet Nam achieved WTO membership, negotiated free trade agreements with many countries and more recently ratified the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. This month, the National Assembly ratified the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement. These free trade agreements can enhance international commerce and deepen economic cooperation between Vietnam and partners.
In this new context, business and trade disputes will inevitably become more diversified and complex. The settlement of commercial disputes through arbitration is an international practice that is applied in many countries worldwide. However, this can only be effective if the results of such arbitration are recognised and enforced by national courts.
However, the current data shows that the rate of refusal of recognition of foreign arbitral awards in Viet Nam is around 50%, which is higher than in other countries in the region and in the world, and which limits the effectiveness of international arbitration. This also affects the confidence of foreign investors seeking to do business in Viet Nam.
Under the framework of our Project, UNDP has supported multiple efforts to enhance capacity on this important topic. Last year, UNDP supported the Ministry of Justice and the Supreme People’s Court to provide trainings for more than 200 judges, lawyers, justice officers and civil judgement execution officers on the NY Convention. This year, we are supporting the Ministry of Justice to conduct a comparative study of the Vietnamese laws with the UNCITRAL Model Law’s provisions on the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards. The objective is to provide recommendations for improving the legal framework and applying provisions of the Model Law in Viet Nam.
The UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration was adopted in 1985 and amended in 2006. Since then, many States have adopted the Model Law for several reasons. But quoting from the report, I want to highlight that “adoption of the Model Law not only has the effect of "internationalizing" arbitration laws but also creating more confidence for parties in dispute settlement and supporting economic and social development through attracting investment and promoting legal services for dispute settlement by arbitration”.
Our team has worked hard to produce the draft report which you will discuss today. We hope that the report will be a valuable source of information for the Ministry of Justice and relevant agencies to propose policy and laws to better implement the NY Convention in Viet Nam as well as to harmonize Vietnamese laws with international standards.
In closing, I would like to stress that promoting an effective recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards is key for ensuring a fair business environment and promoting foreign investment in Viet Nam. UNDP stands ready to support Viet Nam in this journey. I wish you all a successful and productive workshop.
Thank you (Xin Cám Ơn)!