Singapore, 14 April 2014 – The Singapore Mediation Centre (“SMC”) is the first Asian centre to share its best practices with one of Spain’s leading chambers of commerce. The aim is to help their members enhance their appreciation of the use of mediation as a swift, cost-effective and practical mechanism to resolve business disputes without having to resort to legal proceedings.
A Memorandum of Understanding (“MoU”) was signed by the Honourable Justice Belinda Ang Saw Ean, Chairperson of SMC and His Excellency Mr Miquel Valls-Maseda, Chairperson of the Barcelona Official Chamber of Commerce (“BCC”) where both parties agree to exchange information and promote mediation particularly to businesses.
The BCC has more than 350,000 members who represent 11% of companies in Spain. It runs the Barcelona Consolat de Mar, a conflict resolution centre which provides dispute resolution services to businesses as an alternative to litigation. The centre expects to see an increase in cases as a result of a new legal framework in Spain where commercial and business conflicts will be referred to the centre for mediation from the Barcelona business courts.
BCC is particularly keen to adopt the Mediation Charter introduced by SMC in 2011 where companies pledge to consider mediation as a first resort to resolve their organisation’s disputes with other parties. More than 35 companies in Singapore are signatories to the Mediation Charter. SMC also hopes to adapt BCC’s best practices for Singapore to bolster the mediation landscape here.
His Excellency Mr Miquel Valls-Maseda, Chairperson of BCC said that the MoU is an extension of the strong relations between Spain and Singapore. “SMC has an excellent reputation not only in Asia but globally. This MoU will strengthen our international position in being able to offer ADR services to Spanish companies who are doing business with Singapore.”
“Our collaboration will enable us to tap on each other’s expertise in the area of mediation training and also promote Singapore’s mediation services globally, in this instance, to Spanish firms” said Mr Loong Seng Onn, Executive Director of SMC. This MoU is a reflection of the growing profile of SMC in the field of mediation. To date, the SMC has collaborated with key agencies in several countries including Fiji, Dubai, Thailand, and Hong Kong, to promote the use of mediation and ADR services.
To mark the start of this collaboration, the SMC will be sending Ms Eunice Chua, Assistant Director of SMC, to Barcelona on 15 and 16 May 2014 to speak at a conference which will feature well-known experts such as Professors Dwight Golann and Professor Gary Friedman.
About Singapore Mediation Centre
Established in 1997, the Singapore Mediation Centre (SMC) has become synonymous with excellence in mediation services for the resolution of commercial disputes. It has also established a reputation in Singapore and the region for providing training in negotiation and mediation that is of the highest standard. SMC enjoys the full support of the Supreme Court and the Subordinate Courts of Singapore. It continues to build relations with the legal and business community as well as promote mediation to the general public. Over 2,300 civil disputes of all types and involving different quantum of claims (up to multi-million dollar disputes) have been referred for mediation at the SMC. An impressive 73% of these have successfully reached amicable settlements with more than 90% of these settled within one day. For more information on SMC, please log on to http://www.mediation.com.sg/.
About Barcelona Official Chamber of Commerce
Barcelona Chamber of Commerce was first established in 1886. Since then, it strives to work independently to benefit the general interest of businesses across all industries and sizes. Mediation is one of the corner stones of the Chamber’s service portfolio, and is seen as a factor which will boost the productivity of businesses. It currently enjoys the support of authorities, operators, and most recently judges. The challenge ahead is to fulfill the institutional responsibility by providing mediation services of the highest standard.