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Act to benefit Fiji

Repeka Nasiko
Wednesday, February 14, 2018

THE enactment of the International Arbitration Act 2017 by Parliament could lead to improved foreign investor confidence, says Solicitor-General Sharvada Nand Sharma.

Speaking at the inaugural Pacific Regional International Arbitration Conference in Nadi earlier this week, he said the Act implemented Fiji's obligations under the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, also known as the New York Convention.

"Recognising the importance of international arbitration as a means of settling international commercial disputes, the Act was drafted to provide uniformity in its application and the observance of international best practices," he said.

"Our Act was drafted according to the Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration adopted by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law on June 21, 1985 and as amended by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law.

"This is so that our legislation is based on international standards of arbitration and enables the wealth of jurisprudence that has been developed around the world to be utilised in Fiji." He said while the Act was not yet in force, work was being done for the preparation of rules to amend the High Court rules to make the process clearer for taking issues to court in relation to the Act.

"We hope that the Act will be in full force by the end of the year, which will give everyone the opportunity to be trained on the new processes and also allow for capacity building within the legal profession, the private sector and the judiciary."

He said the introduction and the implementation of the International Arbitration Act in Fiji would give investors and trading partners more confidence in doing business in Fiji.

"It is envisioned that the Act will contribute directly to economic growth by providing a gateway to increasing regional and international investor confidence, which in turn will lead to greater economic development potential."

The meeting ended yesterday.

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