As at the time of my writing this, it is back on again! I am talking about the much anticipated meeting between President Donald Trump and Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un. Regardless of whether or not the meeting actually takes place, the choice of Singapore as the venue is worth reflecting on. Why is this relevant to international arbitration? I believe the factors that led to Singapore being chosen for this historic meeting is a reflection of the Singapore brand values that have shaped Singapore into being leading seat for global dispute resolution. Singapore was chosen because of its neutrality, safety, reliability, integrity, efficiency, excellence and openness. Singapore’s commitment to being a good host is further reflected by Minister of Defence, Ng Eng Hen’s stating that Singapore will willingly bear some of the costs of the planned summit.
It is such commitment to these Singapore “brand values” that will ensure Singapore keeps making strides in international arbitration. At the recently concluded SIAC Congress, Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon mentioned that one of the challenges was to ensure a constant pipeline of trained and future-ready practitioners. SIArb will continue to play its part through its membership and fellowship programs. We will review our curriculum to ensure it is world class. In this regard, we welcome input and feedback from you, our members – let us know what you think can be done better or differently and we will be committed to considering all options.
It is already June and another World Cup is upon us. We have had the good wisdom not to compete with FIFA for your attention so our next event is the Focus on Commodities, Minerals and Energy Arbitration on 26 July which will feature a panel discussion with International Arbitration lawyer, Joseph Lopez and Ben Lawson, the COO of PT Sanaman Coal International. Following this, we will have a session on Maritime Arbitration featuring talks by Andrew Moran QC and Prem Gurbani. Also, don’t miss out on our Annual Dinner on 14 November 2018 at Aura. We have just confirmed incoming Senior Minister of State for Law and Health, Mr Edwin Tong as our guest of honour.
Another date you should mark on your diary is 28 November when Jakarta will be hosting the Regional Arbitral Institutes Forum (“RAIF”). SIArb is a member of RAIF and I strongly encourage members to attend as it is a great opportunity to strengthen relationships with our regional partners and learn more about international arbitration in our region. We will provide information to members as it becomes available.
Here’s to wishing and hoping for a successful outcome to the Trump-Kim summit, an outcome that will promote greater peace and prosperity for Asia and particularly for the North Korean people.