An EU (Spanish) company enters into a transaction with an ASEAN (Indonesian) company. If there is a dispute and the matter is before either the Spanish or the Indonesian courts, the winning party might find that they have to re-litigate the entire matter in the other party’s domestic courts in order to enforce the judgment. This is because there is no treaty that provides for the mutual recognition and enforcement of each state’s court judgments.
One popular option to avoid the problem is to have such disputes arbitrated in Singapore. Under the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards 1958, a Singapore arbitration award can be enforced in more than 150 states, including every ASEAN and EU member-state.
Industry watchers will be aware of the Singapore government’s aim to promote and entrench the city state’s position as Asia’s hub for international dispute resolution by offering a complete suite of services in relation to international litigation, international arbitration and international mediation. Until recently, the most visible of those efforts centred on promoting international arbitration in Singapore.
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MOHAMMED REZA is a director of JWS Asia Law Corporation in Singapore. Shaun Lee, supervising associate, and Justin Kwek, associate, also contributed to the article