MSMEs Urged to Make Use of Arbitration in Settling Commercial Disputes

Jamaica News: Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Floyd Green, is encouraging micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to make use of the Arbitration Act in resolving commercial disputes.

The legislation, passed in Parliament in April 2017, seeks to facilitate domestic and international trade and commerce, by providing an effective non-judicial mechanism for settling disputes between contracting parties. It provides for greater flexibility and efficiency in comparison to litigation.

The State Minister, who was speaking at the opening ceremony for the Arbitration Week Conference 2019 at the Spanish Court Hotel, New Kingston on Thursday (June 27), said that the legislation is particularly important for local enterprises seeking to access international markets.

“What we have been saying to our MSMEs is, to access international markets, you have to look to partnerships; you have to look to commercial arrangements with investors and other companies to get a fair share of the market space. In those commercial arrangements, clearly, a strong dispute settlement regime is critical to underpin those,” he said.

“We now have the framework that we can take advantage of. It is now up to us to take advantage of that to truly unleash our economic potential,” Mr. Green added.

Noting that the Government continues to streamline the process of doing business in Jamaica, he said equally important in attracting international investment is the presence of an effective arbitration mechanism.

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“It factors strongly in the ‘Doing Business’ report and our mechanisms for settling disputes. We have to constantly work to strengthen those mechanisms so that those who seek to do business here in Jamaica and seek to invest, are assured there is an easy, time bound, cost effective way to settle disputes. For us, arbitration is the answer,” he said.

The two-day conference, which closes on Friday (June 28), is being hosted by the Jamaica International Arbitration Centre (JAIAC) in association with the Jamaican Institute of Quantity Surveyors.

It features panel discussions on Sport, Entertainment and Marijuana; Maritime Claims; Judicial Support; Damages and Valuation; and Third Party Funding.

The event is part of activities to observe Arbitration Week 2019 from June 23 to 29 under the theme ‘The Journey Continues – Securing Sustainability in a Service Reliant Economy: Opportunities, Dispute Management and Improvement in Gross Domestic Product’.


Source: JIS News


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