Opportunities, challenges in providing legal service shared at forum

Hakim Hayat

Renowned Bruneian international barrister and arbitrator Professor Dr Colin Ong, QC delivered a keynote address at the 2nd China (Guangdong) Belt and Road Legal Service Forum in Guangzhou, China recently.

He shared some of his latest ideas on ways to deal with the increasing demand of foreign-related specialist legal services to support the economic development needs of the ambitious economic initiative put up by China.

The forum also encouraged brainstorming of ideas between Chinese and the ASEAN region’s top commercial and finance lawyers on dealing with the accelerating growth of the initiative from a legal standpoint.

The Belt and Road Initiative comprises several economic corridors that lead from China through Southeast Asia, the Middle East and to Europe. The economic corridors are spearheaded by the development of large-scale infrastructure connections between the regions covered by the initiative.

The Belt and Road Initiative’s 21st Century Maritime Silk Road arm runs through ASEAN and has an impact on infrastructure including railways, oil and gas pipelines, electricity distribution networks; supply chain manufacturing facilities; regional trade and logistics centres; and urbanisation projects.

Professor Dr Colin Ong, QC delivers his keynote address.

In his keynote address, Dr Ong, who is also an English Queen’s Counsel, a Singapore lawyer and a Civil Law professor, shared some of his latest ideas on ways to deal with opportunities and challenges of the rule of law in the economic initiative and on delivering high quality legal services; and harmonisation.

Afterwards, several panels of lawyers continued discussions throughout the day on how such high quality legal services could be harnessed by joint ventures along the Belt and Road Initiative.

They also discussed the establishment of fair, effective and neutral dispute resolution systems.

The global event held at the China Hotel Guangzhou was coordinated by the Guangdong Lawyers Association.

It was jointly supported by the Law Society of Hong Kong, the Lawyers Association of Macao; the Law Society of Singapore and the Malaysian Bar Council. It was attended by hundreds of lawmakers and lawyers from China as well as Belt and Road countries including ASEAN.