The Law Society of Hong Kong is preparing a major conference on the Belt and Road initiative to coincide with its 110th anniversary, underscoring the importance of the initiative for Hong Kong’s legal community.
The conference, entitled The Belt and Road: A Catalyst for Connectivity, Convergence and Collaboration, will be held on Friday 12 May at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Legal delegates and speakers from all points along the Belt and Road, stretching from Southeast Asia to Europe, have been invited to attend in anticipation of a diverse and multicultural forum united with the objective of realizing China’s ambitious development strategy initially referred to as One Belt, One Road.
“This is a world first – the first global event focused on helping the legal practitioners in Hong Kong and around the world to learn from experts and build contacts to benefit from the multibillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative,” said Huen Wong, council member of the Law Society of Hong Kong and chairman of the Belt and Road Conference Organization Committee. Wong urged the legal community to “come learn about the future of lawyering, build networks and friendship”. The law society’s goal with the conference is to provide an in-depth look at the Belt and Road from a legal perspective, exploring the many elements that will drive the initiative.
To this end it established a Belt and Road Committee, charged with reaching out to law associations in the countries covered by the Belt and Road initiative and engaging them to help all parties better understand the legal elements that will affect business and trade within the initiative.
“All international trade and business activities are conducted against a backdrop of law,” said Fred Kan, chairman of the Belt and Road Committee. “It is essential for the success of the Belt and Road initiative to provide a platform to facilitate an understanding of the various applicable laws and endeavour to harmonize them.”
Relevant committees from the law society are working with UNCITRAL (the UN Commission on International Trade Law) and other agencies to harmonize business and trade laws along the Belt and Road.
The 12 May conference will include three sessions. The first will address opportunities and challenges for bilateral and multilateral trade, looking at legal, tax, financing and insurance issues relevant to bilateral/multilateral trade, as well as mergers and acquisitions (M&A).
The second session, entitled E-tools for international trade, will look at the crucial arena of technology and the importance of big data, block chain, cloud computing and virtual currencies in redefining international trade, asking the question: Can Belt and Road businesses harness the power of big data and prepare themselves for any possible backlash?
The final session looks at resolving disputes in cross-border trade. With the demand for international dispute resolution services on the uptick, how will trade disputes, anti-corruption, anti-money laundering and even maritime law disputes play out along the Belt and Road?
Those wishing to attend the conference can register on the law society’s website at: hklawsoc-beltandroad.com